A look at economic developments around the globe

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 15, 2011; 2:33 PM

-- A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Tuesday:


TOKYO - Japan's stock market nose-dived nearly 11 percent, leading world markets sharply lower, as an escalating nuclear crisis threatened to compound the devastation from last week's earthquake and tsunami.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average sank a staggering 10.6 percent - more than 1,000 points - to close at 8,605.15 after earlier falling more than 14 percent. The Nikkei has suffered its worst two-day trading loss in 40 years.

The chill was felt across all Asian markets. South Korea's Kospi lost 2.4 percent, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.1 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 2.9 percent, India's Sensex fell 1.5 percent, Singapore's benchmark slid 2.8 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4 percent.

The yen rose as Japanese investors repatriated funds as a precautionary measure against risk and to pay for reconstruction. The other traditional safe-haven currencies, the Swiss franc and the dollar, soared. Oil prices took another hit on fears over the impact on global consumption.


LONDON - European stocks also slumped, with German stocks the worst performing - Germany has the strongest economic ties with Japan. The country's main DAX index closed down 3.2 percent, France's CAC-40 slid 2.5 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 index fell 1.4 percent.


TOKYO - Japan's central bank pumped billions more into the financial system to quell fears that the country's banks could be overwhelmed by the impact of the massive earthquake and tsunami as a nuclear crisis escalated.

Two cash injections totaling 8 trillion yen ($98 billion) came a day after the Bank of Japan fed a record 15 trillion yen ($184 billion) into money markets and eased monetary policy to support the economy in the aftermath of Friday's 9.0 magnitude quake that has killed thousands.

The injections have helped stabilize currency markets. But stock markets dived for a second day as investors unloaded assets amid escalating worries of a nuclear crisis.

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