22 Feb '11, 5am

Japan's shares plunge 1.96% in morning trade

TOKYO: Japanese shares tumbled 1.96 percent in morning trade Tuesday on worries over the intensifying unrest in Middle East. Japan's fiscal woes also came under the spotlight again after Moody's lowered the outlook for Japanese government debt to "negative" from "stable". The Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 213.15 points to 10,644.38 by the lunch break. The Topix index of all first section shares lost 1.79 percent or 17.46 points to 957.17. The violent political crisis in oil-rich Libya drove down European shares overnight, pressuring Japanese stocks from the opening bell. US markets were closed Monday for a national holiday. Waves of street protests continued in Libya with gunfire rattling the capital Tripoli, where demonstrators attacked police stations and the offices of the state broadcaster and set government buildings ablaze. "Rising political tensions ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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