The Tokyo Stock Exchange shut down early after its systems were flooded with orders on Wednesday. Japanese and Asian ETFs have all been affected by the decline but are still trading here in the US. The Nikkei closed down 2.9%.

The iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ) in mid day trading is down 2.6% at $13.28, which is 6.9% off its high set on January 9, 2006.  iShares S&P Topix 150 Index (ITF) is down 2.3% at $114.35, which is 6.7% off its high also set on January 9, 2006.

Market Watch reported today that "some observers said ETFs, which are baskets of securities that trade on exchanges in real time, could be used as price-discovery instruments in early U.S. trading Wednesday after the Tokyo exchange’s unplanned early close."

"I think markets will really look at where iShares MSCI Japan opens to see where the Japanese market is really priced," said Jim Wiandt, publisher of investment Web site IndexUniverse.com and ETF expert."

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.