Euro STOXX 50 volatility index hits near 2-wk high

PARIS, April 12 (Reuters) – The Euro STOXX 50 volatility
index (.V2TX: Quote, Profile, Research), one of Europe’s main barometers of anxiety, rose
10 percent on Tuesday and hit a near 2-week high, as reignited
fears over Japan’s nuclear crisis sparked a sell-off in stocks.

The higher the volatility index, based on sell- and
buy-options on the Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: Quote, Profile, Research) stocks, the lower
investors’ appetite for risky assets such as equities.

Japan raised the severity of its nuclear crisis at the
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to a level 7 from 5, putting it
on par with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, and
triggering a pullback in stock markets around the world.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson)

Euro STOXX 50 volatility index hits near 2-wk high