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Uranium stocks crash for second day from Japan crisis

Uranium stocks crash for second day from Japan crisis

Australian uranium companies took a battering for the second straight day on Tuesday, as the fallout continued over the Japanese earthquake and its damage to a nuclear power plant.

Friday's 9.0 magnitude earthquake has caused several explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant, leaving workers scrambling to prevent meltdowns while struggling with rising radiation levels.

The disaster has shaken confidence in the nuclear power industry, and sparked a global sell-off of uranium stocks.

Australia, as the world's third largest uranium producer, was particularly hard-hit. Shares in Energy Resources of Australia, (ASX:ERA) which produces around 10% of global primary supply, slumped over 10.55% by 2:30pm on Tuesday.

This is on top of a 12.23% decline from the previous day.

Paladin Energy fell by a wider 13.42% (ASX:PDN), after a 16.5% decline on Monday. The shares, which were worth $5.000 just last week, fell to $3.420 on Tuesday.

Extract Resources (ASX:EXT) tumbled 14.58% by Tuesday afternoon to $8.380, and had declined 7.71% on Monday.

Smaller producers were even more hard-hit, with explorer Peninsula Energy (ASX:PEN) crashing 29.41% on Tuesday. With the shares trading at $0.60 by about 3pm, they had lost half their value since Friday.

Toro Energy (ASX:TOE) fell 20% to $0.080, and had declined 23.08% on Monday.

Shares in Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) also lost more than a quarter of their value to $0.165, after similar declines the previous day.

The crisis in Japan also shook the overall Australian stock market. Every industry sector declined during the day's trading, with the energy and material sectors predictably taking the biggest battering.

The All Ordinaries Index had slumped 132.4 points, while the S&P/ASX 200 fell 133.9 points.

According to CommSec analyst Steven Daghlian, Japan is the world's third largest nuclear power user, with its 55 plants providing over a third of the nation's total electricity.

The Japanese market had itself fallen more than 6% for the second straight day by midday AEST, he said.

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Tags ASX:DYLDeep YellowASX:PDNASX:TOEASX:EXTASX:ERAEnergy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA)

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