Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average tumbled 481.44, or 5 percent, to 9,139.05 as of 9:35 a.m. in Tokyo. The following are among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Banks: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306) (8306 JT) and other lenders extended yesterday’s plunge after Japan’s worst earthquake on record hit the country on March 11. Mitsubishi UFJ tumbled 7.3 percent to 371 yen. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) (8316 JT) retreated 6.2 percent to 2,521 yen. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411) (8411 JT) plummeted 9.7 percent to 131 yen.
Chemical makers: Showa Denko K.K. (4004 JT) tumbled 7.8 percent to 142 yen after halting operations in Fukushima, Gunma, Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures after the earthquake. Asahi Kasei Corp. (3407) (3407 JT), which halted production at plants in Ibaraki and Migagi prefectures, sank 6.7 percent to 477 yen. Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. (4188) (4188 JT), which halted production at three Tokyo area plants, fell 5.8 percent to 572 yen.
Electronics makers: Olympus Corp. (7733) (7733 JT), an optical- equipment maker, lost 7 percent to 2,151 yen and Panasonic Corp. (6752) (6752 JT) slid 6.6 percent to 912 yen. They both said they are suspending operations in the plants affected by the earthquake in the Tohoku region.
Steelmakers: Steel production in Japan will “suffer” in the “short term” following last week’s tsunami because of “a lack of power and general damage to steel smelting facilities,” Ambrian Partners Ltd. said in a report. Nippon Steel Corp. (5401) (5401 JT) retreated 7.2 percent to 246 yen and JFE Holdings Inc. (5411) (5411 JT) sank 6.7 percent to 2,190 yen. Kobe Steel Ltd. (5406) (5406 JT) lost 5.8 percent to 179 yen.
Utilities: Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501 JT), Asia’s largest utility known as Tepco, was offered lower at 1,401 yen, 14 percent less than the last close, after confirming a third explosion today at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant north of Tokyo, damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Also, Moody’s Japan K.K. placed the Aa2 ratings of Tokyo Electric on review for possible downgrade. Tohoku Electric Power Co. (9506 JT) also was offered lower at 1,276 yen.
Kansai Electric Power Co. (9503 JT), which provides power to western Japan, and Chubu Electric Power Co. (9502 JT), which operates in central Japan, both plunged 11 percent. Also, power- equipment company Toshiba Corp. (6502) (6502 JT) also was offered at 355 yen, less than yesterday’s close of 411 yen.
Kikkoman Corp. (2801) (2801 JT), Japan’s biggest soy-sauce maker, fell 5.1 percent to 813 yen. The company said it has halted operations at a plant of its subsidiary, Nippon Del Monte, following the earthquake.
Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. (4151 JT), a drugmaker, declined 6.8 percent to 724 yen, after saying it suspended operations at a Kyowa Hakko Chemical Co. plant in Chiba.
To contact the reporter on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at email@example.com.