TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Monday,
tracking Wall Street's weak finish over the weekend, as worries
about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant dented
investor sentiment, which was already weakened by global central
banks' hawkish steps.
The Nikkei share average lost 1.3% to 28,162.59 by
0200 GMT, while the broader Topix was down 1.46% to
"The impact of the Omicron variant seems to be bigger than
we had originally expected, with some countries tightening
restrictions," said Jun Morita, general manager of the research
department at Chibagin Asset Management.
"Already the mood was negative after a series of hawkish
move by the central banks last week."
The Netherlands went into lockdown on Sunday and the
possibility of more COVID-19 restrictions being imposed ahead of
the Christmas and New Year holidays loomed over several European
Wall Street finished lower on Friday, weighed down by Big
Tech, as investors worried about Omicron and digested the U.S.
Federal Reserve's decision to end its pandemic-era stimulus
Last week, the Fed said it would accelerate a tapering of
its bond-buying stimulus to end the program in March, while the
Bank of England overnight also surprised markets by becoming the
first major global central bank to raise interest rates.
In Japan, all the 33 sector subindexes on the exchange fell,
with tyre makers leading the declines with a 3.89%
drop. Bridgestone lost 3.99% after a local report that
said the company is reducing its workforce.
Brokerages also declined, with Nomura Holdings
losing 2.97%, SBI Holdings falling 6.02% and
Daiwa Securities slipping 2.65%.
Olympus gave up early gains to fall 1.15% after the
medical equipment maker announced a share buyback.
(Editing by Rashmi Aich)