TOKYO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei reversed course to
end higher on Friday, led by travel and leisure shares, as
investors scooped up stocks that were beaten down amid concerns
over the impact of the Omicron coronavivus.
The Nikkei share average rose 1%, the biggest
percentage gain in three weeks, to close at 28,029.57. The
index, which fell as much as 0.59% earlier in the session,
posted a 2.5% weekly drop.
The broader Topix jumped 1.63% to 1,957.86 but lost
1.3% for the week.
"Investors started buying shares once they confirmed where
the bottom of the Nikkei for the day," said Masahiro Ichikawa,
chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.
"But going forward, the market will be moving up and down as
long as details of the Omicron will be missing and concerns on
the variant will remain."
Shares that were battered by worries over the resurgence of
the new coronavirus variant rebounded, with airlines
and railways rising 5.28% and 3.28%, respectively.
Travel agency H.I.S surged 8.06% and KNT-CT
Holdings jumped 9.56%.
Department stores also climbed, with Isetan Mitsukoshi
Holdings rising 5.615 and Takashimaya gaining
SoftBank Group, which has a stake in Grab
, slid 0.71% after the ride-hailing and delivery firm
tumbled more than 20% in its Nasdaq debut on Thursday.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global, in which
SoftBank Group invests, will delist from the New York stock
exchange and pursue a listing in Hong Kong.
Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo brand of
clothing stores, fell 0.71% after the company's domestic same
store sales fell for a fourth straight month in November.
Chip making equipment maker Tokyo Electron lost
(Editing by Rashmi Aich)