Nikkei drops below key 14,000 mark
Subprime fears bring lowest level since 2005
The Nikkei stock index closed below the 14,000 line Tuesday for the first time since November 2005 on a strong yen, tumbling Asian stocks and grim signals of greater fallout on Japanese companies from the U.S. housing meltdown.
It also dipped below 13,973.03, the closing level at the April 26, 2001, launch of Junichiro Koizumi's government, fueling anxiety that reforms carried out by the charismatic leader have stalled under current Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, brokers said.
Bank of Japan Gov. Toshihiko Fukui fueled selling pressure by admitting in a speech in the morning that the impact from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis on domestic financial institutions has been "growing beyond our initial expectations."
"Amid a jittery period ahead of U.S.
earnings reports, Fukui's comments were effective in freezing buying
momentum," said Yutaka Shiraki, senior equity strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ
The Japan Times: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008
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