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Tokyo Stocks End in Slump, Off 38.7% in 1990, One of Market’s Worst Years

From Reuters

In a grim reminder of one of the Tokyo stock market’s worst years ever, share prices ended 1990 the way they began--lower.

Today’s fall brought the total decline in the Nikkei stock average over the year to nearly 40%, its biggest drop in over four decades.

“The realization that this year was a bad one all came out in the end,” said Masahiko Tsuyuzaki, a trader at Tachibana Securities Co. Ltd.

The Nikkei fell 91.99 points, or 0.38%, to 23,848.71 at midday today, the end of the last session for the year.

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The market will reopen for another half-day session on Jan. 4 before normal trading resumes Jan. 7.

It was the first time the Nikkei failed to end the year higher since 1986, and the decline betrayed brokers’ fragile hopes that the average would close above 24,000 points to provide a psychological boost for next year.

“When people saw the Nikkei wasn’t going to close above 24,000, they sold,” Tachibana’s Tsuyuzaki said.

After 1990’s performance, the market lacks much bullish sentiment for 1991.

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Today’s decline brought the Nikkei’s total fall for 1990 to 15,067.16 points, or 38.7%. That was the biggest yearly percentage drop since World War II, said Kunio Urakami, a senior adviser at Nikko Securities Investment Trust and Management Co. Ltd.

“There aren’t any bright factors in 1991, either,” he said.


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