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Asian Optimism Wanes

Despite a late pick up in Asian markets, they ended decidedly lower for the evening, with the Heng Seng standing out down more than 2%. The NIKKEI rebounded and flirted with green, but is now lower more than 1.4%. The Shanghai added to the carnage,  lower by more than 1%.

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Flash: Radiation Levels Unchanged

Kyodo is reporting that radiation levels have not gone done, despite Tepco’s helicopter over nuke plant water trick.

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U.S. Futures Rally; Asian Losses Moderate

Speculation of further BOJ intervention into the currency markets has led to a dollar rally versus the yen, now trading above 79. Earlier this evening, it was 76.

S&P futs are 7.5 points above fair value or 0.6%. Both Japanese and Hong Kong markets are down less than 2%.

Related: Food commodities are soaring, on average up around 1.5%.

Update: the broader based Japanese Topix is now up. Crisis over.

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Official Death Toll Passes 5,000

It’s being reported by police in Japan, the confirmed death toll is 5,178 and 8,606 missing.

Additionally, several thousand more are injured.

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Asian Markets Lower, But Not Crashing

The Japanese markets have stabilized and trading off the lows, but still swimming in shit, down 2.1%. Hong Kong is down 1.97% and China is off by 0.4%, where they are too busy concocting off balance sheet accounting frauds than pay heed to global news.

Related: oil, gold and silver are all lower, but food commodities are ripping to the upside.

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The IAEA Release Injury Report from Fukushima

Just released.

Based on a press release from the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary dated 16 March 2011, the IAEA can confirm the following information about human injuries or contamination at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Please note that this list provides a snapshot of the latest information made available to the IAEA by Japanese authorities. Given the fluid situation at the plant, this information is subject to change.
2 TEPCO employees have minor injuries
2 subcontractor employees are injured, one person suffered broken legs and one person whose condition is unknown was transported to the hospital  
2 people are missing
2 people were ‘suddenly taken ill’
2 TEPCO employees were transported to hospital during the time of donning respiratory protection in the control centre
4 people (2 TEPCO employees, 2 subcontractor employees) sustained minor injuries due to the explosion at unit 1 on 11 March and were transported to the hospital
11 people (4 TEPCO employees, 3 subcontractor employees and 4 Japanese civil defense workers) were injured due to the explosion at unit 3 on 14 March
Radiological Contamination
17 people (9 TEPCO employees, 8 subcontractor employees) suffered from deposition of radioactive material to their faces, but were not taken to the hospital because of low levels of exposure
One worker suffered from significant exposure during ‘vent work,’ and was transported to an offsite center
2 policemen who were exposed to radiation were decontaminated
Firemen who were exposed to radiation are under investigation
The IAEA continues to seek information from Japanese authorities about all aspects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant


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Water Hoses Active on Reactor #3

In an effort to stem the free flow of radiactive stream flowing from nuke bomb plant #3, Japanese officials have resorted to dropping water out of helicopters onto the plant.

Related: uranium was down 6%+ today on news that Germany and China were shutting down or canceling numerous nuclear power plant projects.

Update: in addition to ch-47 choppers, 11 water cannon trucks are heading to site. Watch live NHK footage of events here.

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NIKKEI Plunges by 4.4%

Trading is underway in Japan and it is ugly as fuck, with outsized losses in just about everything

Related: the yen is up 1% versus the dollar, giving back most of the early/scary gains.

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Dollar Staging a Fierce Comeback Versus Yen

After hours currency action has been pure wild west or middle east, whichever you deem wilder. By 5:30 est., the USD/JPY cross was trading as low as 76. Since then it has rallied up to 78.7, still down 2.3% on the session. The yen is also weakening versus the pound and the euro, but still up 4.2% and 3.8% respectively.

NIKKEI futures, 30 minutes ahead of trade, are indicating a loss 1.9%, up from earlier indications of -4.5%.

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U.S. Calls For Evacuation

As per the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, they are calling for an evacuation of U.S. citizens within an 80km radius of nuke sites.

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy and other technical experts in the U.S. Government have reviewed the scientific and technical information they have collected from assets in country, as well as what the Government of Japan has disseminated, in response to the deteriorating situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Consistent with the NRC guidelines that apply to such a situation in the United States, we are recommending, as a precaution, that American citizens who live within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant evacuate the area or to take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical.

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