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Japanese shares extend losses on higher oil prices

Japanese shares extend losses on higher oil prices

Japanese shares extended their losing streak Friday, as higher oil prices and a stronger yen dragged the key stock index to a nearly five-month nadir.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 86.17 points, or 0.68 percent, to 12,666.04 _ the lowest level since April 1. The broader Topix index shed 0.66 percent to 1,216.4.
Japanese stocks have had a dismal week, with the Nikkei down 3.8 percent since Monday. Along with Friday's jitters over oil and currencies, investor sentiment was battered throughout the week by lingering doubts about the U.S. financial sector as well as growing angst over a global economic downturn, said Kazuki Miyazawa, a market analyst for Daiwa Securities SMBC in Tokyo.
"Until now, we've known that the U.S. and euro-zone were slowing," he said. "But there are now concerns about more serious slowdowns in developing and resource-rich countries," particularly China.
Oil prices held above US$121 a barrel Friday in Asia after jumping more than US$5 overnight as investors mulled the likelihood that tension with Russia would further disrupt crude supplies to the West.
Among the sectors hit by the rise were airlines and rubber companies. Japan Airlines closed down 1.33 percent at 223 yen, and Bridgestone Corp., one of world's largest tire makers, fell 2.43 percent to 1,729 yen.
The strengthening yen, which reduces the value of overseas profits when repatriated to Japan, battered major exporters. Sharp Corp. tumbled 2.26 percent to 1,340 yen, and Honda Motor Co. down 2.55 percent to 3,440 yen.
Chipmakers headed south as well, as prospects for the semiconductor market remained dim amid falling DRAM prices. Elpida Memory declined 1.71 percent to 2,590, and Advantest, a top maker of semiconductor testers, fell 3.54 percent to 2,195 yen.
Among gainers, mobile communications operator NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and KDDI Corp. posted solid rebounds after falls the previous session.
In currencies, the dollar bought 108.90 yen Friday afternoon from 108.45 yen late Thursday. The euro held steady at US$1.4885.


Updated : 2020-11-30 14:22 GMT+08:00