COMMODITIES DROP: Commodities prices plummeted as the nuclear crisis in Japan raised more questions about demand. The steepest price declines included wheat, corn, soybeans, gasoline and palladium. Even gold and silver, typically considered safe-haven holdings, dropped.
THE CAUSE: Japan said dangerous levels of radiation were leaking from a crippled nuclear plant days after the country was devastated by a deadly earthquake and tsunami.
The IMPACT: Traders are awaiting more clarity about what lies ahead for Japan. Many sold commodities in favor of assets considered relatively safe, such as U.S. Treasurys and the dollar.