Quake Shakes Japan, Nuclear ETFs

Fears over the impact Friday’s earthquake and tsunami will have on Japan’s economy sent the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average plunging 6.2% in its first day of trading since the 9.0-magnitude quake struck. This led U.S. investors to sell stocks. At Monday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from its lows, to post a decline of 0.43% to 11993 and the S&P 500 slid 0.54% to 1296.

Here’s a brief look at how ETFs affected by the crisis reacted on Monday The iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ) sank 7% to $10.05. The WisdomTree Japan Total Dividend ETF (DXJ) tumbled 7% to $35.620. The Rydex CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) advanced 0.26% to $120.92.

Meanwhile, the trouble at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex sent fears rippling through the U.S. nuclear industry. Officials said an explosion occured at the site’s Unit 3 reactor, while the fuel rods at the Unit 2 were fully exposed, causing fears of a nuclear meltdown at the reactor. PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy Portfolio (PKN) plunged 11% to $18.97 and the Market Vectors Uranium + Nuclear Energy ETF (NLR) plummeted 12% to $22.46.

UPDATE: Tuesday 12:09 am. The New York Times has reported the Nikkei index has plunged 13% on worries about the radiation fallout from a potential nuclear disaster. It looks like Tuesday will be a clustercuss.

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