TOKYO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Friday,
dragged down by heavyweight technology shares, amid caution
about rate increase after U.S. Federal Reserve showed a hawkish
move, while fears for the Omicron coronavirus variant hit
The Nikkei share average fell 0.92% to 28,799.60 by
the midday break, after rising more than 2% in the previous
session. The index is set to post a 1.27% weekly gain.
The broader Topix was down 0.7% to 1,998.96 and on
course to gain 1.19% for the week.
"Today's decline is a natural reaction to the Fed's
monetary tightening. The market jumped yesterday because those
who had shorted Japanese shares bought back stocks," said
Tomoichiro Kubota, senior market analyst at Matsui Securities.
"Towards the end of the year, investors will remain largely
cautious about the monetary tightening."
On Wednesday, the Fed said it would accelerate a tapering of
its bond-buying stimulus to end the program in March, setting up
three quarter-point rate increases next year.
The Bank of England overnight also surprised markets by
becoming the first major global central bank to raise interest
In Japan, technology shares tracked a sharp loss of the
Nasdaq overnight, with chip-related Tokyo Electron
leading Nikkei declines, losing 1.96%.
Air-conditioning maker Daikin Industries fell 2.17%
and technology investor SoftBank Group 1.42%.
Travel-related shares were hit after a report on the first
case of a domestically-acquired Omicron infection.
Airlines and railways lost 1.22% and
1.1%, respectively. Oriental Land, the operator of the
Tokyo Disney Resort, lost 3.2%.
Mitsui & Co, up 1.58%, gained the most among the
top 30 core Topix names, followed by Seven & i Holdings
, rising 1.25%.
Hoya Corp down 3.90%, was the worst performer among
the Topix top 30 stocks.
(Editing by Rashmi Aich)