TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Japanese shares rebounded on
Tuesday after two days of heavy selling as hopes that the
Omicron coronavirus variant would not derail a global economic
recovery prompted short-covering.
The Nikkei average rose 1.18% to 28,616.73, bouncing
back from the 1-1/2-month low posted in the previous session, as
investors drew comfort from signs that Omicron's impact might
not be as grave as feared. The index dropped 4.1% in the
preceding two sessions as reports of a possibly
vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant had spooked investors.
The broader Topix gained 1.35% to 1,974.72 climbing
back above its 200-day moving average, after having slipped
below that level for the first time in more than a year in the
While the World Health Organization (WHO) said the Omicron
carried a very high risk of infection surges, investors bet it
will be manageable.
"I am bullish on equities. Looking at U.S. earnings, it is
hard to keep selling, said Masato Kogure, group leader of
execution at institutional sales at Tokai Tokyo Securities.
"Short-selling was at an extremely high level recently and
it appears those positions in cash stocks are getting covered
Semiconductor-related shares outperformed with MSCI Japan
semiconductor index rising 3.3%.
Ibiden soared 5.0% while Advantest gained
3.7% and Sumco added 3.6%.
Battered travel-related stocks also recovered, with TSE
airlines index up 2.5%. Land Transport Index
, mainly made up of train operators, gained 2.4%.
Japanese precision machine makers did well with the
sub-index gaining 2.3%.
Olympus rose 4.3% while Electronic microscope
manufacturer JEOL jumped 7.7% to a record high.
The market is wary of selling expected at the end of trade
on Tuesday from passive investors due to the latest reshuffle of
MSCI indexes, in which 15 Japanese stocks will be eliminated
while just two will be added.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)