Japanese Market Notably Lower

The Japanese stock market is notably lower on Monday, giving up some of the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 staying above the 28,800 level, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street on Friday, on renewed concerns about the pace of the global economic recovery amid the rapid spread of the new and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus Omicron variant.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 189.65 points or 0.68 percent at 27,839.92, after hitting a low of 27,693.91 earlier. Japanese shares ended significantly higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is plunging almost 8 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are edging down 0.3 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 2 percent and Screen Holdings is down 1.5 percent, while Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.3 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.2 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing almost 1 percent and Mizuho Financial is flat.

The major exporters are mixed, with Panasonic edging down 0.5 percent and Sony losing more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.4 percent and Canon is flat.

Among the other major losers, Sumco is losing almost 5 percent, Chugai Pharmaceutical is declining more than 4 percent and Daiichi Sankyo is almost 4 percent, while Hino Motors< Z Holdings, Mitsubishi Motors and Rakuten Group are down more than 3 percent each. Nexon, Suzuki Motor and Isuzu Motors are slipping almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is gaining almost 5 percent and Denka is adding almost 4 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 113 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved back to the downside during trading on Friday following the rally seen in the previous session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly steep drop, tumbling to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

The Nasdaq plunged 295.85 points or 1.9 percent to 15,085.47 and the S&P 500 slid 38.67 points or 0.8 percent to 4,538.43, while the narrower Dow climbed well off its worst levels but still closed down 59.71 points or 0.2 percent at 34,580.08.

The major European markets also moved to the downside over the course of the session. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures pared early gains and settled lower Friday amid uncertainty about the outlook for energy demand due to fresh restrictions following the spread of the new coronavirus variant Omicron in several countries. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended down by $0.24 or 0.4 percent at $66.26 a barrel.

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