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Business news: Five things to watch March 28


In this image released by Japan Ground Self-Defense Force via Kyodo News, smoke billows from Unit 3 at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, March 27, 2011. Markets and businesses, already feeling the effects of the worst nuclear-power disaster in 25 years, are watching closely. (Japan Ground Self-Defense Force via Kyodo News/AP)

2. Mixed signals at Fukushima

The weekend was full of sometimes conflicting and always fluid reports on the state of emergency at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. As recovery efforts slowly get under way across the disaster-struck nation, the human and economic toll is coming into clearer focus. Not only are Japanese markets and businesses under pressure but major multinationals are seeing significant supply-chain disruptions of their own, with Ford announcing it will idle a facility in Belgium to conserve parts. The Nikkei opened down slightly in Monday trading.