Fujifilm, other Ebola-related shares soar as fears of virus intensify in U.S.
* Institutional funds may be buying Fujifilm, not others -trader * Ebola-related stocks include Airtech Japan, Shigematsu, Teikoku Sen-I * Ebola fears exacerbating already sour mood - trader By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Shares of Fujifilm Holdings Corp as well as makers of air purifiers and protective clothing soared on Thursday on speculation over which companies would generate higher returns from fears of deadly virus Ebola intensifying in the United States. Fujifilm extended gains into a third day - up 4.3 percent in early afternoon trade - and was the fifth-most traded stock by turnover. At the same time, concern over slowing economic growth had pushed the Nikkei index to a 4 1/2-month low and all 33 Topix sub-sectors into negative territory. The Japanese technology company last week said the French and Guinean governments were considering clinical trials of influenza drug Favipiravir developed by group firm Toyama Chemical Co to treat patients infected with Ebola. "Traders think Ebola has become a more serious threat since a second health worker in the U.S. was confirmed positive," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. "Ebola worries are exacerbating already bad sentiment caused by global slowdown." A nurse who had contracted Ebola was allowed to board a plane from Ohio to Texas with a slight fever, intensifying concern about the U.S. response to the spreading virus, a U.S. federal told Reuters. Other shares rising on expectations of higher sales because of Ebola fears include industrial air purifier maker Airtech Japan Ltd, which soared 27 percent after gaining 128 percent over the previous four sessions. Shigematsu Works Co, which makes health protection devices, jumped 15 percent and Teikoku Sen-I Co, a maker of firefighting equipment and other synthetic textile products, also rose 15 percent. "Institutional investors and long-only funds may be buying Fujifilm (because of the clinical trials), but long-term investors would not buy the other stocks," Akino said. Profit-taking could occur anytime as short-term retail investors are buying shares in the other companies before carefully studying their businesses and balance sheets, Akino said. "Buying in these companies seems to be mere speculation so you need to be careful for a sudden fall." (Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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