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Nikkei futures briefly slip after earthquake, tsunami

NEW YORK Nov 21 Nikkei futures traded in the United States briefly fell on Monday after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan, followed by a tsunami warning.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury from the quake, which struck at 5:59 a.m. on Tuesday, Japan time (2059 GMT).

The earthquake brought back memories of a deadly magnitude 9 quake in March 2011.

In the days following that temblor, the Nikkei tumbled 16 percent while the yen strengthened more than 7 percent against the U.S. dollar.

On Monday, the yen strengthened briefly, though it remained near a more than five-month low hit earlier in the session.

"I know the yen moved up big, and that's always kind of the case because people think that money will be getting repatriated," said Stephen Massocca, chief investment officer of Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.

"It's too early to tell ... but it appears there's not a lot of damage, so I think the currency move is going to reverse itself."

"Unless we're missing something here and there's some significant damage, it's going to be meaningless" in terms of the markets, Massocca added.

During the regular session on Monday, the Nikkei share average rose for a fourth consecutive session, adding 0.8 percent to 18,106.02, its highest closing level since Jan. 5.

Nikkei futures were last up 0.1 percent. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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