In­vestors dump ura­nium stocks

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

AUS­TRALIAN in­vestors dumped ura­nium stocks as Ja­pan scram­bled to avert a full nu­clear melt­down at a power plant af­fected by a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake.

Rio Tinto Ltd ma­jor­ity owned En­ergy Re­sources of Aus­tralia, the world’s fourth largest ura­nium pro­ducer, closed down $ 1.15, or 12.23 per cent, at $ 8.25 yes­ter­day.

Toro En­ergy Ltd plunged three cents, or 23.08 per cent, to 10 cents, fel­low ura­nium ex­plorer Ex­tract Re­sources Ltd fin­ished 82 cents, or 7.71 per cent, weaker at $ 9.81. Ura­nium miner Pal­adin En­ergy Ltd was down 78 cents, or 16.49 per cent, at $ 3.95.

City In­dex Aus­tralia se­nior dealer Biyi Cheng said there was a three­fold jump in the usual t rad­ing vol­ume f or Pal­adin stock, with 34.6 mil­lion shares in the miner chang­ing hands.

Com­mSec an­a­lyst Steve Dagh­lian said the in­vestor re­sponse to the un­fold­ing nu­clear cri­sis in Ja­pan could be put down to a knee-jerk re­ac­tion.

He s aid it was un­cer­tain whether the cri­sis would trig­ger a turn­ing point in sen­ti­ment to­wards nu­clear power.

‘‘ The cool­ing sys­tems at two re­ac­tors in Fukushima failed, we had dozens of peo­ple be­ing evac­u­ated, ex­plo­sions and leaks . . . so that would have raised ques­tions on the safety of nu­clear power plants over­all in the short term,’’ he said.

The Ja­panese gov­ern­ment de­clared an ‘‘ atomic power emer­gency’’ and evac­u­ated thou­sands of res­i­dents l i ving close t o Fukushima.

Aus­tralian Ura­nium As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Angwin said it was too early to tell how the sit­u­a­tion in Ja­pan would af­fect the nu­clear power sec­tor, but was con­fi­dent the in­dus­try would learn from it.

FALL­OUT: A ra­dioac­tiv­ity mea­sure­ment is taken in Rus­sia’s Vladi­vos­tok in the wake of the Ja­panese nu­clear plant ex­plo­sions

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