Nikkei drops 0.80% on rising turmoil in Libya, firm yen (2)

19:34, February 23, 2011      

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The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 85.60 points from Tuesday to 10,579.10, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange declined 9.82 points, or 1.03 percent, at 946.88.

Subsequently, energy-related issues were among the biggest drags on the market Wednesday, with oil and gas exploration firm Inpex plunging 4.1 percent to 566,000 yen and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. falling 2.6 percent to 3,910 yen.

Careful attention needs to be paid to the knock-on effect of the Libya crises regarding rising oil and gasoline prices, as a hike in prices will cool consumer spending in the U.S. and have an adverse impact on the pace of the global economic recovery, surmised one Tokyo-based asset manager.

Further compounding a dour market mood on Wednesday was a firm yen that prompted investors to dump export-related issues for profit and switch from blue-chips that have outperformed the broader market of late, in favor of defensive issues and domestic- shares that are more resilient to external factors.

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