European Markets

Japanese shares extend rally as Omicron fears fade

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TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Japanese shares jumped on Wednesday, as investors grew hopeful that the Omicron coronavirus variant would be less disruptive for the global economy than initially feared.

The Nikkei share average (.N225) jumped 1.4% to end at 28,860.62, its highest close since Nov. 25, though it met a resistance around 28,910, where it has its 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

The broader Topix (.TOPX) added 0.6% to 2,002.24, while brighter sentiment saw the index of Mothers start-up market (.MTHR), battered in recent weeks along with their U.S. peers, jumping 2.18%.

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Preliminary evidence indicates that Omicron likely has a higher degree of transmissibility but is less severe, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday. read more

Tech shares led the gains with semiconductor-related stocks (.MIJP0SE00PJP) jumping 2.6%.

Renesas Electronics (6723.T) soared 6.1%. Taiyo Yuden (6976.T) rallied 5.1% while Tokyo Electron (8035.T) added 2.8% and Lasertec (6920.T) went up 2.3%.

Electronics maker Omron (6645.T) gained 3.6% while game maker Nintendo (7974.T) added 3.5%.

U.S. stocks gained on Tuesday despite a rise in short-term bond yields, signalling that stock markets potentially digested the initial shock from worries that the Federal Reserve may accelerate tapering in its bond buying.

But some market players remained cautious.

"Looking ahead to next year, the Fed's tapering and rate hikes will remain a big theme and I don't think the market is completely done with corrections related to that," said Yuya Fukue, trader at Rheos Capital Works.

Interest rate-sensitive real estate companies fell, hit by a portfolio rebalancing related to an index adjustment, as well as a media report on the government's plan to reduce tax deduction for housing loans.

Mitsui Fudosan (8801.T) fell 3.7% while Sumitomo Realty and Development (8830.T) lost 3.2% and Mitsubishi Estate (8802.T) shed 2.2% to hit a one-year low.

The Topix real estate index (.IRLTY.T) fell 2.1% to become the worst performer among Topix 33 industry subindexes.

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Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Rashmi Aich

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