Tokyo Stock Market Plunges

The effects of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis are rippling across the country’s economy, forcing industry to shut down and sending the Tokyo Stock Exchange plunging, with a loss of $287 billion in market capitalization. The Nikkei average fell by 6.2 percent on Monday, the biggest single day decline since October 2008. Fears of further aftershocks from the 8.9 earthquake and the problems plaguing several of the country’s nuclear reactors were cited as the main reasons for the sell-off. Meanwhile, some of the country’s largest producers, including Toyota, have shut down all their plants in the country. "This disaster has in effect temporarily frozen the world's third largest economy," said Richard Soultanian of NUS Consulting. Sony and Toshiba both suspended production at plants, and Goldman Sachs said there would be “extreme damage” across the electronics industry in the short term. The construction industry, at least, is expected to boom as Japan begins to rebuild.