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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Selling panic closes Tokyo market

Tokyo's stock exchange closed early for the first time in its history on Wednesday, in a bid to head off a meltdown after a frantic day's trading.

The move was sparked by heavy selling in shares following allegations of fraud at internet firm Livedoor.

The exchange suspended share dealing at 1440 local time (0540 GMT) - 20 minutes early - as the number of transactions threatened to breach trading capacity.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 464.77 points, or 2.94%, at 15,341.18.

Earlier in the trading session, the benchmark index sank as low as 15,059.52. Shares in Japanese technology stocks including Advantest, Canon and Toshiba were particularly hit.


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