Nikkei tumbles to near 2-week low on Greek anxiety, strong yen

miércoles 10 de diciembre de 2014 01:49 GYT
 

* Exporters hit by weaker yen
    * Investors becoming more risk-averse - analyst
    * Skymark bucks trend, soars to 5-month high on ANA
codeshare hopes

    By Thomas Wilson and Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks tumbled to a
near-two week low on Wednesday, as a strengthening yen prompted
selling by investors already worried by political uncertainty in
Greece, weak global growth and falling oil prices. 
    The Nikkei benchmark dropped 2.6 percent to
17,352.86 by 0537 GMT, its lowest since Nov. 28.
    Selling of exporter stocks by short-term investors on the
back of a stronger yen compounded morning losses, market
participants said.
    The dollar slipped to 118.79 yen, having dropped more
than 2 percent at one stage to 117.90, in a sharp turnaround
from a seven-year peak of 121.86 set on Monday.
    Fanuc Corp shed 3.3 percent and Nissan Motor Co
 also fell 3.3 percent. Toyota Motor Corp 
tumbled 3.1 percent.
    Apart from the stronger yen's negative influence, global
worries are reducing the appetite for risk-taking, said Hiroyuki
Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center. 
    European political worries flared up on Tuesday, with the
Greek government brining forward a presidential vote. The
surprise decision heightened uncertainty over the country's
transition from its IMF/EU bailout and pushed yields on
lower-rate eurozone debt higher. 
    China's latest inflation report further soured the mood,
with data showing its annual consumer inflation eased to a
five-year low. 
    Brent crude, meanwhile, fell 1.3 percent after
hitting a fresh five-year low of $65.29 the previous day. Oil
prices have been under pressure amid a massive supply glut,
after OPEC decided against an output cut. 
    The offshore concerns risk putting the brakes on the
Nikkei's recent rally. Since the BOJ's surprise easing on Oct.
31, the benchmark has added 12 percent.
    "Considering the current world situation, it's difficult to
see where the next short-rally will come from," said Makoto
Kikuchi, CEO of Myojo Asset Management. 
    On the positive ledger, Skymark Airlines soared
18.2 percent to its highest since July after ANA Holdings Inc
 said it would consider helping the struggling airline.
    
    The broader Topix dropped 2.4 percent to 1,401.19,
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 slid 2.6 percent to
12,710.76.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)