Japanese shares fall on Omicron worries; SoftBank drags

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TOKYO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Japanese shares fell on Monday, dragged down by a sharp decline in SoftBank Group (9984.T), while investors remained risk averse as worries over the omicron variant of COVID-19 persisted.

The Nikkei share average (.N225) fell 0.6% to 27,870.05 by 0215 GMT, after opening 0.18% higher. The broader Topix (.TOPX) was down 0.48% at 1,948.43.

"The market has been volatile and will be so as long as investors seek details on the Omicron variant," said Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities.

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"But as for the Japanese market today, the declines are led by individual stocks, particularly SoftBank Group, which is facing multiple negative factors."

SoftBank Group tanked 7.11%, losing half of its value from its year-high in mid-March, on concerns over the valuations of portfolios in which the global technology start-up investor in and its Vision Fund have invested.

Didi Global (DIDI.N), which is 21.5% owned by Vision Fund, fell more than 22% on Friday after the ride-hailing giant said it would withdraw from the New York Stock Exchange and pursue a Hong Kong listing. read more

Also, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued to block U.S. chip company Nvidia Corp's (NVDA.O) more than $80 billion planned acquisition of British chip technology provider Arm, which is owned by SoftBank.

SoftBank's mobile phone company SoftBank Corp (9434.T) reversed course to edge up 0.2%, while Z Holdings (4689.T) , SoftBank Corp's internet business, lost 2.81%.

The Mothers Index (.MTHR) of start-up firm shares lost 3.66%

Other major technology shares gained, limiting losses in the Nikkei, with phone company KDDI (9433.T) 1.18%, robot make Fanuc (6954.T) 0.3% and air-conditioning maker Daikin Industries (6367.T) 0.08%.

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Editing by Rashmi Aich

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