The ongoing problems at Japan's nuclear power plants have sent share prices of uranium miners on the ASX spiralling, as part of a more generalised sharemarket fall - Uranium stocks plunge for second day.
Australian uranium stocks plunged for a second straight day amid heightened fears of a nuclear meltdown in Japan following last week’s earthquake and tsunami.
Another explosion this morning at the Fukushima reactor, 220km from the nation’s capital, prompted Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan to warn that substantial amounts of radiation were leaking in the area, triggering waves of panic selling across global financial markets.
‘‘There’s just so much uncertainty. Nobody bar a few nuclear experts actually know what’s happening, which is the scary thing,’’ IG Markets market strategist Ben Potter said. ‘‘Some reports are saying winds could blow low level radiation into Tokyo in 10 hours, while others dismiss the fact.
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‘‘Either way, the world’s worst nightmare could be unfolding.’’
CMC Markets sales trader Ben Taylor said speculation that a nuclear cloud was floating towards Tokyo city had terrorised the markets.
‘‘Further rumours of another flash crash coming has seen value thrown out the window as panic selling sets in across world equity markets,’’ Mr Taylor said.
Investors sold out of Australian uranium stocks in droves as the trading session ground on amid a greatly weakened outlook for the sector.
Shares in Rio Tinto-majority owned Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), the world’s fourth largest uranium producer, plunged to a more than six-year low after dropping 12 per cent on Monday. ERA was down $1.18, or 14.3 per cent, at $7.07, its lowest since January 2005.
Africa-focused uranium miner Paladin Energy also continued to slide after slumping more than 16 per cent on Monday.Paladin was down 69 cents, or 17.5 per cent, at $3.26, its lowest since mid-March last year.