Japan Nikkei tumbles to 7-week low on Covid variant worries
(16:11, 29 Nov 2021)
Japan share market finished session at lowest level in nearly seven weeks on Monday, 29 November 2021, on renewed concerns about the pace of the global economic recovery, after the government announced entry ban to foreign visitors from Nov. 30 on fears over the recently discovered omicron Covid variant detected in several countries over the weekend. Meanwhile, stronger yen against the dollar also weighed on the market.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan will bring back its blanket ban on new entries by foreigners on Tuesday amid concerns over the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 467.70 points, or 1.63%, to 28,283.92, its lowest closing level since 13 October 2021. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 36.50 points, or 1.84%, to 1,948.48.

Shares of transportation and leisure-related companies dropped due to concerns about possible fall in travel demand due to the new coronavirus variant. Shares of Japan Airlines fell 3.98% while ANA Holdings declined 4.09%. Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land fell 4.8% while Sanrio, the operator of theme parks featuring Hello Kitty, slumped 6%. East Japan Railway was down 3.9% while Odakyu Electric Railway slumped 3.8%.

Export related shares were lower as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar, with Panasonic and Canon losing almost 2%

ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Retail Sales Up 0.9% On Year In October- Japan value of retail sales was up 0.9% on year in October, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday, coming in at 12.552 trillion yen, following the 0.5% decline in September. The data also showed that wholesale sales jumped 6.6% on year to 34.323 trillion yen, slowing from 8.7% in the previous month. Commercial sales were up 5.0% to 46.875 trillion yen, slowing from 6.2% a month earlier. On a monthly basis, retail sales rose 1.1% following the upwardly revised 2.8% gain in the previous month (originally 2.7%).

CURRENCY NEWS: Japanese yen appreciated to mid 113 range against greenback on Monday, as demand for safe-haven currency resumed on worries over the new COVID-19 strain. The Japanese yen, widely seen as a safe-haven currency, traded at 113.48 per dollar after strengthening sharply late last week from above 114.8 against the greenback.

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