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Market Update

Nikkei Drop of 2.7% Leads Asian Markets Fall

Author: Hiruki Nakamura
Last Update: 9:45 AM ET March 18 2013

5:30 PM Tokyo – The Nikkei index in Tokyo led the Asia-wide decline after the latest proposal to levy tax on bank depositors in Cyprus as a part of the bank bailout spooked investors. The yen gained but traded above the 94 level. Water Direct soared 150% after it opened for initial public offering.

The Nikkei index in Tokyo dropped the most in ten months and pulled back from its recent five-year high after European regulators proposed conditions for bank bailout in Cyprus.

Markets in Asia plunged after European finance ministers demanded that a tax on depositors to raise as much as 7 billion euros to win a 10 billion euros bailout from the euro zone governments.

The unexpected move set off the worries that other struggling nations in the euro zone may face similar bank deposit tax and may set off a bank run in Greece, Italy and Spain.

The yen gained against the euro and dollar and closed at 94.59 from 95.38 at Friday’s close. One euro fetched 123.04 yen.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average plummeted 340.32 or 2.7% to 12,220.63 and the broader Topix Index declined 23.31 or 2.2% to 1,028.34.

Stocks in Review

Water Direct Corp soared 150% to 3,025 yen after the company prices its initial public offering at 1,200 yen and buy orders exceeded sales on March 15, the date of listing. The stock opened for the first in trading today.

Dainippon Screen dropped 7.5% after Credit Suisse lowered its views on the company and stock and cited a possible slowdown on slower capital spending plans by chip foundries.

Panasonic Corp increased 0.6% to 692 yen after a report in Nikkei newspaper said that the company may close or sell its plasma TV market in fiscal 2014. The company is also considering “options” for its healthcare business unit including selling the business.

Toyota Motor Corp slipped 170 yen to 4,850 yen and Honda Motor Co. decreased 130 yen to 3,690 yen and Nissan Motor Co Ltd fell 34 yen to 951 yen. Yamaha Motor Co Ltd dropped 49 yen to 1,285 yen.

Nippon Steel slid 9 yen to 248 yen and JFE Holdings Inc declined 76 yen to 1,876 yen.

Sharp Corp fell 2.5% to 307 yen after the company said its second investment of $53 million from Qualcomm has been delayed after companies failed to meet terms laid out in original agreement to invest 9.9 billion yen.

Sony plunged 113 yen or 6.8% to 1,555. Canon Inc fell 75 yen to 3,385 yen and Nikon lowered 7 yen to 2,255 yen. TDK Corp decreased 130 yen to 3,365 yen.

Nintendo Co. Ltd dropped 90 yen to 10,570 yen.

Fanuc Corp. declined 300 yen to 14,110 yen and Komatsu Ltd slid 10 yen to 2,203 yen. Hitachi Construction Machinery Co decreased 21 yen to 1,981 yen.

Softbank Corp dropped 160 yen or 4.2% to 3,630 yen.

FamilyMart Co Ltd, the convenience chain operator rose 35 yen to 4,075 yen and Lawson added 20 yen to 6,780 yen. Ito En Ltd slipped 37 yen to 2,047 yen.

Seven & I Holdings Co decreased 37 yen to 2,912 yen. Fast Retailing Co. plummeted 1,110 yen to 29,290 yen and J. Front Retailing Co. Ltd slid 13 yen to 668 yen.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 18 yen to 558 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group slumped 100 yen to 4,935 yen. Dai-Ichi Life declined 3.9% to 123,900 yen. Nomura Holdings, Inc dropped 17 yen to 571 yen.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc