The Nikkei recovered some lost territory on Wednesday as markets in Europe felt the pain of local problems amidst the turmoil over Japan’s tragedy. Moody’s Investors Service cut Portugal’s rating by two notches to A3, and markets in Europe reacted, with bank stocks limiting a rise caused by bargain-hunting buyers and in the end weighing heavily on the finish.
The Nikkei bounced back from two days of massive losses to regain some 5.68% at its close of 9,093.72, and TOPIX was up 6.64% to 817.63. In its continuing efforts to calm the markets, the Japanese central bank injected $43 billion more in liquidity into the economy.
Reuters reported that the FTSE regained some of its own losses thanks to investors taking a breather from the panic selling on Tuesday, spurred by nuclear meltdown fears, that chopped almost 21 billion pounds ($33.86 billion) from the market. Banks, however, limited the upside of that recovery, with the news of Portugal’s lower status serving as a grim reminder of problems closer to home.
Early trading saw the FTSE 100 up 5.16 points at 5,700.44 after five consecutive down days, but banks shaved 12 points from the index on Portugal’s news. But midday, stocks felt pressure as the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares lost 0.5% at 1,079.25 points, after a 3½-month low finish on Tuesday. The STOXX Europe 600 Banks fell 1.5%; STOXX Europe 600 Technology index dropped 0.3%; the FTSE 100 fell 0.7%, Germany's DAX was down 0.3%, and France's CAC 40 lost 0.8%.