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US markets drop as Japanese devastation threatens global economy

Posted by on March 15, 2011 1 Comment

New York, March 15 (DPA) US stock markets fell on fears that the massive devastation from Japan’s earthquake could impact the global economy.

Japan’s 9.0 magnitude quake Friday is feared to have killed tens of thousands of people. Authorities are also battling to prevent a meltdown at a nuclear power station that has been severely damaged.

The disaster threatens to derail Japan’s already weak economy, the third-largest in the world behind the US and China. Japan’s central bank pushed nearly $200 billion into the economy to help keep it afloat.

US energy shares fell on Wall Street, led by companies dealing in nuclear power.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 51.24 points, or 0.43 percent, to 11,993.16. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 Index was down 7.89 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,296.39. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 14.64 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,700.97.

The US currency slid against the euro to 71.47 euro cents from 71.92 euro cents Friday. The dollar also fell against the Japanese currency to 81.63 yen from 81.86 yen Friday.

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