Japanese markets gain in early trading

Marion Dakers
JAPAN’S Nikkei 225 index opened 2.1 per cent higher this morning after a planned holiday closure yesterday, as the country’s nuclear situation looked serious but unchanged from Friday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Fukushima Daiichi’s reactor 2 was still emitting white smoke, and workers were evacuated for two hours when unit 3 started to blow out smoke or steam.

The agency has reported ongoing higher-than-normal radiation levels up to 200km away from Fukushima.

Finance minister Yoshihiko Noda said this morning that Japan will cooperate as appropriate with other G7 members to protect the yen from sharp rises, following Friday’s intervention in the currency markets.

The death toll from the disaster has risen to 8,450 with 13,000 missing.