By Marcus Leach

The earthquake in Japan has caused the Asia stock markets and the Yen to fall.

The earthquake, measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale, struck moments before the close of trading in Tokyo. Initially the dollar had gained almost 0.5% against the Yen, but quickly dropped back again.

With the continued problems in the Middle East the Tokyo market had already been suffering, and with the earthquake has now closed at its lowest level for five weeks.

The Nikkei index finished the day down 1.7%, but worse was to come as Nikkei futures dropped 3% in after-hours trading as the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake become apparent.