TOKYO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei slumped on Friday
to its lowest level in a month, on worries that a new
coronavirus variant found in South Africa could hinder a global
By 0205 GMT, the Nikkei share average dropped 2.3%
to 28,829.95, its lowest since Oct. 29, while the broader Topix
fell 1.81% to 1,989.03.
For the week, the Nikkei is set to lose 3%, while the Topix
is on track to fall 2.7%.
"The market's fundamentals have been weak as investors kept
selling when the Nikkei got closer to 30,000," said Kazuharu
Konishi, head of equities at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset
"So, it easily got damaged by negative news, such as the one
about new virus variant. Although it might be too rough to
conclude that today's declines were only due to the virus."
The variant, detected by scientists in South Africa, may be
able to evade immune responses and has prompted Britain to
hurriedly introduce travel restrictions on South Africa.
In Japan, heavyweights declined, with Uniqlo clothing store
operator Fast Retailing losing 3.13%, technology
investor SoftBank Group falling 5.04% and chip-making
equipment maker Tokyo Electron slipping 2.62%.
All of Tokyo Stock Exchange's 33 industry sub-indexes were
in the red, with airlines and railways
leading the declines.
ANA Holdings, falling 3.86%, extended its losses
after the airliner raised funds through a sale of convertible
Railway operator Keisei Electric Railway fell
IHI Corp, losing 5.32%, was the biggest percentage
loser on the Nikkei, followed by Pacific Metals, which
Sumitomo Osaka Cement surged 10.21%, making it the
biggest percentage gainer on the Nikkei, followed by Citizen
Watch, which rose 3.26 % and Taiheiyo Cement,
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; editing by Uttaresh.V)