Nikkei Plunges 6.2% Below 10,000 After Earthquake

Last Updated Mar 14, 2011 8:18 AM EDT

While the tragedy is still unfolding it feels ghoulish to discuss the economic impact of the earthquake, especially as human costs mount. But this is my beat, so it's my job to report on the financial implications of the earthquake.

Japanese stocks plunged, though European and other Asian markets were mixed. US stock futures are pointing lower in the pre-market. The Bank of Japan unleashed "massive" liquidity to assure financial stability, pumping 15 trillion yen ($183B) into the market.

Here's what we know so far:
  • The Nikkei 225 (Japan's blue-chip stock index, like the Dow): -6.2% to 9,620, the largest percentage biggest drop since December 2, 2008 and the lowest level in four months
  • The broader Topix stock index (like the S&P 500): -7.5% to 846
  • Last week, the Japanese stock market index ended the week down 4 percent. The Nikkei 225 has now lost nearly 12 percent since its 2011 peak on February 21
  • Nissan Motor: -13%
  • Toyota Motor Co: - 7.9%
  • Honda Motor: -6.5%
  • Mitsubishi Motors Corp: -11.8%
  • Sony Corp: -9.1%
  • Toshiba: -16%
  • Hitachi: -16%
  • Tokio Marine Holdings (insurance company): -12%
  • Dai-ichi Life Insurance: -19%
Companies with nuclear-related businesses were hit hard, including:
  • Tokyo Electric Power Co (company that owns and operates Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant): -23.6%
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries: -10.1%
  • Hitachi Ltd: -16.2%
  • Toshiba Corp: -16.3%
  • Japan Steel Works Ltd. -18.9%
Facts about Japan's economy and Kobe Earthquake of 1995
  • Japan is the world's 3rd largest economy, behind the US and China
  • Japan accounted for $5.4 trillion, or 8.7 percent, of world GDP in 2010
  • Japan has lost 10 percent of total electric power, with expectations of 15-30 percent of Japans electrical grid coming off line in the future
  • Japan imported approximately 1.6 percent of world oil (4.7M barrels a day in 2009)
  • Early estimate of insured losses = $35B (insured only, not total)
  • 1995 Kobe quake total costs = $120B in today's dollars, 2.5 percent of Japan's GDP
  • Kobe devastated a major port and area affected accounted for 12.4 percent of GDP
  • 5 areas hardest hit in current quake account for a combined 7.8 percent of GDP
  • Analysts believe that the quake could shave up to 1 percent off Japan's growth, but its probably premature to speculate
A Japanese friend reminded me, "We are a strong and resilient people." Sadly, the resolve of the Japanese people will be tested once again...our thoughts and prayers are with them.

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    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch. She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch in 2009, Jill was the chief investment officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.


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