Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average tumbled 633.94, or 6.2 percent, to 9,620.49 as of the close in Tokyo. The following were among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Builders, cement makers and other construction-related companies surged after Japan’s strongest earthquake on record destroyed towns and may have killed as many as 10,000 people.
Kajima Corp. (1812 JT), a general contractor, soared 22 percent to 259 yen. Obayashi Corp. (1802 JT) leapt 11 percent to 385 yen. Shimizu Corp. (1803 JT) gained 11 percent to 373 yen. Taisei Corp. (1801 JT) jumped 20 percent to 223 yen. Nippon Road Co. (1884 JT), a road paver, and Yokogawa Bridge Holdings Corp. (5911 JT), a bridge builder, both surged by their daily limits of 80 yen. Daiwa House Industry Co. (1925 JT), a home builder, rose 12 percent to 1,099 yen and Sekisui House Ltd. (1928 JT) climbed 9.5 percent to 869 yen.
Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co. (5232 JT), a cement maker, leapt 7.5 percent and Taiheiyo Cement Corp. (5233 JT) soared 21 percent. Komatsu Ltd. (6301 JT), the world’s second-biggest maker of construction equipment, rose 0.6 percent.
Carmakers: Toyota Motor Corp. (7203 JT) sank 7.9 percent to 3,310 yen. Nissan Motor Co. (7201 JT) lost 9.5 percent; Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (7211 JT) plunged 12 percent and Mazda Motor Corp. (7261 JT) sank 10 percent. Toyota said it is suspending today production at all 12 factories in Japan and at its body makers as the company wants to confirm the safety of all its employees before it starts production.
Instant noodle makers: Nissin Foods Holdings Co. (2897 JT) climbed 1.1 percent to 2,954 yen. Toyo Suisan Kaisha Ltd. (2875 JT) was unchanged at 1,852 yen, after rising as much as 4.4 percent earlier today.
Electronics: Toshiba Corp. (6502 JT), an electronics and power-equipment company, plunged by its daily limit of 80 yen, or 16 percent, to 411 yen. The company will halt operations today at its plants and offices in areas affected by rolling power outages, except for those necessary to help restore social and economic aid. Sony Corp. (6758 JT), which halted operations at 10 factories and two research centers, retreated 9.1 percent to 2,550 yen. Nikon Corp. (7731 JT), which also halted four factories, sank 8.8 percent to 1,699 yen.
Insurers: Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. (8766 JT) and NKSJ Holdings Inc. (8630 JT) both declined 12 percent. MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. (8725 JT) lost 9.1 percent. Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. (8750 JT) tumbled 19 percent.
Power Companies: Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501 JT) plunged by its daily limit of 500 yen, or 24 percent, to 1,621 yen, while Tohoku Electric Power Co. (9506 JT) tumbled by its daily limit of 400 yen, or 21 percent, to 1,486 yen. Tokyo Electric Power known as Tepco said a meltdown is possible at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 3 reactor where a hydrogen explosion occurred, injuring six workers. Tohoku Electric has reported the first or lowest “state of emergency” level at the Onagawa nuclear power plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported, citing Japanese authorities.
Steel, metal producers: Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. (5405 JT) sank 8.1 percent to 182 yen after Chairman Hiroshi Shimozuma said its Kashima steel plant near Tokyo sustained “big damage” and the factory can’t be operated “for awhile.”
Dowa Holdings Co. (5714 JT) and Toho Zinc Co. (5707 JT), Japan’s No. 2 and No. 3 zinc producer, both fell at least 8.9 percent.
Railways: East Japan Railway Co. (9020 JT), the nation’s largest train operator, plummeted by its daily limit of 1,000 yen, or 18 percent, to 4,450 yen, after the earthquake forced the company to halt service, including on 32 lines today, with limited operations on others. Keisei Electric Railway Co. (9009 JT) fell 7.2 percent to 514 yen.
Refiners: JX Holdings Inc. (5020 JT), Japan’s biggest oil refiner, tumbled 15 percent to 501 yen after saying a fire started at a shipping facility at the Sendai refinery. Cosmo Oil Co. (5007 JT) plunged 22 percent to 221 yen. Fire broke out at a Cosmo refinery outside Tokyo after the March 11 earthquake.
Capcom Co. (9697 JT), a video game developer and operator of amusement centers, retreated 14 percent to 1,409 yen, after the company closed some arcades in the eastern and northeastern areas of Japan because of the March 11 earthquake.
Denyo Co. (6517 JT), a maker of power generators and portable lighting equipment, surged by its upper daily limit of 100 yen, or 14 percent, to 795 yen, the biggest gain since October 2008, after Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it was scheduled to conduct rolling outages.
Mitsubishi Materials Corp. (5711 JT), Japan’s third-largest copper refiner, slipped 8.4 percent to 261 yen, after having stopped operations at its Onahama refinery in Fukushima prefecture.
Nippon Paper Group Inc. (3893 JT), a paper product maker, declined 10 percent to 1,937 yen. The company suspended operations at six plants after the earthquake, the Asahi newspaper reported.
Oriental Land Co. (4661 JT), an operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, dropped 16 percent to 6,870 yen. The company said it would close the Tokyo Disney amusement park until at least March 21. There was no major damage to the park’s facilities from the quake.