Japan petrochemical shares tumble on third blast at nuke complex

15 March 2011 02:03  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japanese stocks slumped for the second day on Tuesday, with the benchmark index falling below 9,000, as a third explosion rocked the quake-damaged nuclear facility in Fukushima.

At 09:07 hours Singapore time (01:07 GMT), Nikkei 225 was down 559.56 points or 5.81% at 9,061.93, off a low of 8,948.53. On Monday, the index lost 6.18%.

Shares of Tokyo Electric Power, which operates the Fukushima nuclear facility, were untraded on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mitsui Chemicals fell 7.69% and Mitsubishi Chemical declined 6.98%. The two companies have shut down some petrochemical operations in the Chiba prefecture.

Cosmo Oil shares were down 8.14%. The company’s 220,000 bbl/day refinery in Chiba burned for days after the quake.

The twin disasters that struck on 11 March wrought havoc in northern Japan, with the death toll likely exceeding more than 10,000 and the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility raising fears of radiation leaks.

An explosion at the No 2 nuclear reactor at the site occurred on Tuesday morning, the third blast at the Fukushima facility as cooling systems at three shut power plants failed.

With some of Japan's petrochemical plants shut and other plants operating at reduced capacity because of power outage, exports supply from the country was expected to fall for a time.

The quake and tsunami forced the shutdown of five refineries, which account for about 22% of the country's total refining capacity.

By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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