Tokyo shares fell 5.2 percent on Monday in their first opening since Friday, when Japan was struck by the biggest earthquake in its history and a devastating tsunami.
The Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 540.39 points shortly after opening to 9,714.04, AFP reported.
Japan’s central bank injected a record 7 trillion yen ($85.7 billion) into the short-term money market Monday in an attempt to build confidence.
Earlier, MarketWatch reported Asian shares started the week with losses, with investors selling out of the Australian resources sector in the wake of the earthquake.
The Australian S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 1.4 percent to 4,579.70, while the Australian dollar declined 0.4 percent to $1.0097 against the US dollar, and the greenback dollar rose to 81.24 yen as Japanese firms repatriated some foreign funds to meet needs at home following the disaster.
Oil futures fell below $100 a barrel in Nymex electronic trading, with the contract down $1.50 at $99.66 a barrel. Gold futures climbed $6.20 to $1,428.00 an ounce.
After Friday’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Japan is struggling to control damage to its nuclear reactors.
“The earthquake, tsunami impact and potential for nuclear ‘meltdown’ have dominated weekend news. Traditional safe-havens are doing well so far this morning. Equities are likely to trade very nervously,” said strategists at TD Securities.
Diversified mineral extractors fell in Sydney on Monday morning, with BHP Billiton Ltd. shares down 1.9 percent and Rio Tinto Ltd. shares down 1.7 percent.
Specifically, investors were selling shares in companies with uranium-mining operations, with Paladin Energy Ltd. shares down 10.8 percent, Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. shares down 9.2 percent and Extract Resources Ltd. shares down 6.7 percent.Foxnews