Asian stocks fluctuated as the Japan’s market took a slight dip. Japanese traders are taking in profits after a couple of days of significant gains, but fresh news of halts in manufacturing provided additional pressure on the market. The Japan exchange traded fund (ETF) has recently been enjoying a nice run up, but it could experience a slight setback.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average diminished 0.8%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2%, South Korea’s Kospi Composite dropped 0.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.2% and China’s Shanghai Composite increased 0.8%, report Colin Ng and Leslie Shaffer for The Wall Street Journal. [Could Japan Aftershocks Affect Other Markets and ETFs?]

  • iShares MSCI Japan Index (NYSArca: EWJ)
  • iShares MSCI Australia (NYSEArca: EWA)
  • iShares MSCI South Korea (NYSEArca: EWY)
  • iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWH)
  • iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 (NYSEArca: FXI)

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 15 points in screen trade.

Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, believes that “until month-end the [Nikkei] index will likely hover around 9,500, reflecting both optimism on the nuclear resolution and pessimism towards future corporate earnings.” The Nikkei is currently at about 9530 after jumping 7.2% over the previous two trading sessions.

A series of mini earthquakes struck Japan in the early morning, with a magnitude 6.0 at 7:12 am Tokyo time, followed by magnitude 4.1, 5.8, 4.9 and 4.3 at 8:03am, writes Kana Nishizawa for Bloomberg. Kenichi Hirano, general manager and strategist at Tachibana Securities Co. in Tokyo, commented that the morning earthquakes were “giving investors a negative sentiment” as manufacturers announced further production halts.

Toyota Motor Corp. fell 1.5% in Tokyo’s market after stating that it will stop domestic production through March 26.

For more information on Asia, visit our Asia category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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.