Thursday, May 23, 2013

Japan Stocks Nosedive, Nikkei Plunges 1000 Points (Updated)

Update, May 23, 2:20 PM ETStocks regain ground after Japan dives 7.3% USA Today

May 23, 2013 - 1:30 AM ET - "They are panicking," writes ZeroHedge blog, noting that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has "injected 2 trillion yen ($19.4 billion) into the financial system to stem volatility following a circuit breaker in JGB futures trading." And, "The Nikkei 225 is down 7% (1000 points) from its earlier highs..."

Note that this story is developing, changing by the minute. But the change, at this time, is not at all good. You can watch the Nikkei take a dump in real time:  Nikkei 225 Index
And you thought the Fed's Ben Bernanke was some kind of man-god? Sure, right.

MarketWatch is reporting this: "Asian stocks took a beating Thursday as data showing that Chinese manufacturing activity unexpectedly contracted in May exacerbated early losses recorded on worries the Federal Reserve could downscale its bond purchases. Japanese shares suffered the most, with the Nikkei Stock Average JP:NIK -4.19%  swinging spectacularly to plunge more than 4% in the afternoon session from a 2% rise posted earlier in the day. The benchmark, which had ended at multiyear highs in each of the previous four sessions, was down 4.1% in highly volatile late-afternoon trade."

Back to ZeroHedge's report:
All the time it is just the quadrillion JPY second-largest bond market in the world that is experiencing volatility on an unprecedented scale, the BoJ and her partners in crime are more than willing to 'officially' say "please do not worry." But when the equity market - that barometer of everything good and holy about Abenomics starts to crater, you can bet the excuses will come fast and furious. Today's drop of over 1000 points (over 7%) from the earlier highs is the largest drop for the Nikkei 225 since March 2011. The Nikkei 225 just lost the all-powerful 15,000 level and is suffering another VaR shock with a 4-sigma move today. In fact given the price levels this drop is on par the post-Lehman moves in 2008. The question now (with US equity futures also fading fast and JPY strengthening over 100 pips) is how will the Japanese risk appetite for peripheral European crap hold up with this crimping in their plan as Japanese bonds and stocks dump?