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coronavirus
Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
29,012
924hr
Pakistan Cases
1,324,147
4,02724hr
Sindh
499,830
Punjab
452,261
Balochistan
33,699
Islamabad
110,963
KPK
182,199

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks opened lower on Monday as scientists raced to learn more about the new Omicron Covid variant that has prompted countries to strengthen border control efforts.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.30 percent, or 374.67 points, to 28,376.95 in early trade. The broader Topix index slipped 1.43 percent, or 28.32 points, to 1,956.66.

The dollar stood at 113.69 yen, slightly higher than 113.22 yen on Friday in New York.

Risk-off sentiment spread across the world over uncertainly about how Omicron, recently detected in South Africa and spreading elsewhere, would affect the global economy just as major countries gradually relax rules for business activities.

Tokyo stocks open lower after mixed US close

Some countries have banned or placed restrictions on travellers from southern Africa.

"Investors should expect high volatility" this week, Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

The Tokyo market led falls last week among leading countries as experts cautioned that Omicron might be more resistant to vaccines than the Delta variant.

"Investors are waiting for the US market to regain its calm," Okasan said, adding that the Tokyo market was watching to see how other Asian bourses will start the new week.

Rakuten Securities struck a less pessimistic tone, saying the Tokyo market was bound to go through an adjustment anyway after steady gains made this year with Japan Inc. enjoying strong earnings.

However, signs of weakness in the Chinese economy, global inflation and now the Omicron variant may discourage investors, the brokerage said.

"When risk-off sentiments go global, the Nikkei faces stronger downward pressure than the Dow," Rakuten added.

Investors still feared possible lockdowns and renewed restrictions on social and economic activities around the world, Rodrigo Catril of National Australia Bank said in a note.

"There is a lot we don't know about Omicron, but markets have been forced to reassess the global growth outlook until we know more," Catril said.

Among major shares in Tokyo, Nissan plunged 4.67 percent to 599.5 yen. The company announced a new business plan on Monday, aiming to have electric and hybrid vehicles make up half its global sales by 2030.

Its rivals Toyota plunged 3.23 percent to 2,007.5 yen, while Honda fell 3.14 percent to 3,145 yen.

SoftBank Group slipped 0.74 percent to 6,289 yen. Sony Group retreated 0.86 percent to 13,865 yen.

Fast Retailing dropped 1.47 percent to 70,580 yen.

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