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Japan's Nikkei plunges 2% as yen rise clobbers exporters

12/01/2022 | 09:23pm EST

TOKYO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average tumbled as much as 2% to a three-week low on Friday as a sharply higher yen hurt autos and other exporter stocks.

Investors were also cautious ahead of key U.S. monthly jobs data expected to inform the path of further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. Declines in equity benchmarks around the rest of the Asia-Pacific region also weighed.

However, Japan's shock win over Spain in the soccer World Cup overnight lifted shares of online broadcaster CyberAgent, sportswear maker Mizuno and British-style pub chain Hub.

The Nikkei was down 1.98% at 27,668.06 at 0207 GMT after dipping to 27,662.12, the lowest since Nov. 10.

The steep drop more than reversed Thursday's 0.9% rally, with 220 of the Nikkei's 225 components dropping and just five rising.

CyberAgent - the social media and online ad company that is broadcasting all of the Qatar World Cup matches on its Ameba app - was far and away the Nikkei's best performer, surging 5.25%.

Mizuno and Hub, which are not listed on the Nikkei, rose 0.84% and 9.42%, respectively.

The broader Topix index sank 2.03% to 1,946.12. All of its 33 subsectors declined.

The dollar fell as low as 135.01 yen on Friday, the lowest since Aug. 18, extending the previous day's plunge of more than 2%.

"Many Japanese companies have their assumed dollar-yen rate set around 135, so additional yen strength has a very high probability of a becoming a drag on earnings," Kazuo Kamitani, a strategist at Nomura, said in a conference call with journalists.

"If there was a decline in U.S. stocks along with continued appreciation in the yen, it would lead to a big and broad decline in Japanese stocks, and the mood in the market today is extremely cautious."

MSCI's index of regional stocks outside Japan slipped 0.28%, and U.S. S&P 500 E-mini futures pointed 0.37% lower.

Investors globally will be closely watching Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls for any further evidence of a peak in inflationary pressures to support Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments this week that it is time to slow rate hikes.

On the Nikkei, Mitsubishi Motors was the worst performer, sliding 4.95%. Nissan tumbled 3.41%, Honda eased 2.46% and Toyota lost 2.25%.

Nintendo retreated 1.95% and Sony fell 1.81%.

The biggest drag was Uniqlo store operator Fast Retailing <9983.T), which shaved 39 points off the Nikkei with its 1.5% decline. (Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by William Mallard)

ę Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (AUD/JPY) 0.07% 92.404 Delayed Quote.2.70%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) -0.04% 0.71109 Delayed Quote.3.43%
BRITISH POUND / JAPANESE YEN (GBP/JPY) -0.15% 160.872 Delayed Quote.1.20%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) -0.27% 1.23797 Delayed Quote.1.95%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (CAD/JPY) -0.03% 97.434 Delayed Quote.0.64%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) -0.16% 0.7497 Delayed Quote.1.32%
CYBERAGENT, INC. -0.16% 1234 Delayed Quote.6.42%
EURO / JAPANESE YEN (EUR/JPY) -0.11% 141.224 Delayed Quote.1.03%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.24% 1.08676 Delayed Quote.1.75%
FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. 1.00% 78100 Delayed Quote.-3.84%
HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. 0.70% 3160 Delayed Quote.3.79%
HUB CO., LTD. -0.30% 663 Delayed Quote.5.81%
INDIAN RUPEE / JAPANESE YEN (INR/JPY) -0.31% 1.594718 Delayed Quote.0.65%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) -0.20% 0.01226 Delayed Quote.1.37%
JAPANESE YEN / SWISS FRANC (JPY/CHF) 0.10% 0.7096 Delayed Quote.0.53%
MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION 0.60% 504 Delayed Quote.-2.55%
MIZUNO CORPORATION 1.36% 2840 Delayed Quote.-0.11%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (NZD/JPY) 0.13% 84.338 Delayed Quote.1.56%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) 0.01% 0.64907 Delayed Quote.2.31%
NIKKEI 225 -0.12% 27362.75 Real-time Quote.4.98%
NINTENDO CO., LTD. -0.18% 5625 Delayed Quote.0.76%
NISSAN MOTOR CO LTD 1.47% 456.6 Delayed Quote.6.29%
NOMURA CO., LTD. 0.22% 921 Delayed Quote.-4.16%
NOMURA CORPORATION 0.10% 1045 Delayed Quote.4.72%
SONY GROUP CORPORATION 1.00% 11620 Delayed Quote.16.24%
TOPIX INDEX 0.17% 1982.31 Delayed Quote.4.70%
TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION -0.13% 7960 Delayed Quote.9.53%
TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION 0.32% 1899 Delayed Quote.5.10%
US DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (USD/JPY) 0.13% 129.949 Delayed Quote.-0.68%
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