Bank Holiday Imminent?
Reuters reports that Tokyo Stock Exchange firms are seeking market closure as the markets are too volatile. We agree. This means we may get the first post September 11 bank holiday as early as tonight. If so, keep an eye on the USDJPY. "Some foreign financial institutions are calling for Japan's stock market to halt trading, while the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Japanese financial regulators are planning to keep markets open, news agency Nikkei reported. The news agency said officials from more than 10 non-Japanese financial firms held a conference call Tuesday afternoon, with some firms calling for the market to be closed immediately, Nikkei reported, citing people familiar with the discussion. Some participants argued that the market was too volatile to continue trading, according to the report." And if Japan closes, watch for rolling market shutdowns westward as the sun rises over each individual stock market.
The TSE's rules allow it to shut down trading if it is possible that brokerages accounting for more than 20 percent of volume cannot do business, Nikkei reported. The prime minister can also halt trading if there's a change of "harm to the public good or investor protections," Nikkei reported.
Japanese stocks plunged following an earthquake and tsunami, which subsequently caused a nuclear reactor disaster. Some foreign bank employees have fled the country as chaos erupted, leaving trading desks understaffed.
The Nikkei report said TSE President Atsushi Saito wasn't prepared to shut the exchange down yet.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, HSBC, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo and UBS did not immediately provide comment on the situation.
We wonder if hopium will work now that reality is finally reasserting itself. We can't wait to hear from all the momo permabulls on this issue.