Skip to main content

Nikkei closes down 10.55 percent

Click to play
Japan's Nikkei market plunges
  • The close marks the third steepest percentage fall in the Nikkei's history
  • At one point, the Nikkei plunged more than 1,390 points, or more than 14 percent
  • Kan: Risk of further releases of radioactive material from Fukushima plant "very high"
  • Tokyo market opened shortly after "explosive impact" reported at nuclear reactor

(CNN) -- Japanese stocks closed down 10.55 percent, recovering from deeper losses earlier in the session, as the nation grappled with a crisis at an earthquake-damaged nuclear power plant and the aftermath of last week's earthquake and tsunami.

It was the third steepest percentage fall in the Nikkei's history.

At one point, the Nikkei plunged more than 1,390 points, or more than 14 percent, nearing the worst-ever plunge of 14.90 percent on October 20, 1987, after the U.S. stock market crash on Black Monday.

The close at 8,605.15, combined with the 6.2 percent drop on Monday, the first full trading day after the quake, marked a nearly 17 percent drop in two days.

Cost of Japan's disaster
Economic effect of quake
  • Nikkei 225 Index
  • Tokyo
  • Naoto Kan

A few hours earlier, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the risk of further releases of radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remained "very high."

The Tokyo market had opened shortly after the owner of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan reported an "explosive impact" at the plant's No. 2 reactor, a day after a hydrogen explosion rocked another reactor.

The plant was among the many structures damaged or destroyed by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

The death toll following the quake has risen to 2,475, authorities said, with at least 3,118 people missing. The Kyodo News Agency said that doesn't take into account reports of thousands of bodies in one northeastern prefecture. More than 450,000 people are reported homeless.

Other Asian markets were also down markedly, a day after modest gains in the face of the Japanese sell-off. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was off 3 percent in afternoon trading.

U.S. markets were set for a lower open. S&P and Dow futures were lower by 0.6 percent, while Nasdaq futures were down 0.8 percent.

Check world markets

World markets finished generally lower Monday as investors assessed the impact of the Japanese disaster on the global economy.

In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average slid 51 points, or 0.4 percent. In Europe, Britain's FTSE-100 ended down 0.9 percent, with France's CAC-40 and Germany's DAX both more than 1 percent lower.

Part of complete coverage on
Wedding bells toll post-quake
One effect of Japan's deadly quake has been to remind many of the importance of family and to drive them to the altar.
Toyota makes drastic production cuts
Toyota has announced drastic production cuts due to difficulty in supplying parts following the earthquake in Japan.
Chernobyl's 25-year shadow
There's an eerie stillness about the desolate buildings and empty streets of Pripyat.
Inside evacuation 'ghost town'
A photographer documents the ghost town left behind by the nuclear crisis in Japan. What he found was a "time stop."
One month since the quake
Somber ceremonies mark one month since the earthquake and tsunami killed as many as 25,000 people.
First moments of a tsunami
Witnesses capture the very first moments of the devastating tsunami that struck Japan in March.
The 'nuclear renaissance' that wasn't
A month after a devastating earthquake sent a wall of water across the Japanese landscape, the global terrain of the atomic power industry has been forever altered.
Drone peers into damaged reactors
Engineers use a flying drone to peer into the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.