Nikkei slips to 5-week low on oil slump, global growth concern

lunes 15 de diciembre de 2014 22:21 GYT

* All 33 subsectors in negative territory
    * Profit-taking may run its course around Christmas -
    * Skymark Airlines shines on report ANA and JAL offering

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
dropped to a more than one-month low on Tuesday morning as a
renewed selloff in oil prices added worries about weak global
demand, which drove the safe-haven yen  higher to the detriment
of exporter stocks.
    Underscoring the gloom, Russia's central bank sharply raised
its key interest rate to halt a collapse in the rouble as the
oil-dependent economy slides towards recession on the back of
the rout in oil prices and Western sanctions. 
    The Nikkei fell 2.0 percent to 16,765.88 in
mid-morning trade, the lowest since Nov. 10, after declining 1.6
percent on Monday.
    U.S. crude tumbled almost 5 percent, extending losses after
the close to come within two cents of $55 a barrel, and Brent
fell more than 2 percent, nearing $60. 
    U.S. crude was last at down 23 cents at $55.68 a barrel in
Asian trade.
    Other commodities also declined, with gold falling more than
2 percent to one-week lows.
    "Concerns about the Russian economy, a slowdown in the
Chinese economy are hurting the mood, and the oil price collapse
poses threats to U.S. shale gas production," said Kyoya Okazawa,
head of global equities at BNP Paribas, adding that investors
should stay risk averse for the time being.
    On Tuesday, mining shares underperformed, with Sumitomo
Metal Mining falling 2.0 percent and Inpex Corp
 shedding 1.8 percent.
    Exporters were also languishing as the dollar traded at
117.87 yen, not far from a last week's low of 117.445.
Toyota Motor Corp declined 1.3 percent and Honda Motor
Co shed 1.7 percent.
    Traders said that falling oil prices should be positive for
consumption in advanced economies like Japan in the long-term,
and the market may begin to reflect that once the current
selloff runs its course.
    "Selling should be done by around the Christmas time," said
Masaru Hamasaki, head of market and investment information
department at Amundi Japan.
    Bucking the market, Skymark Airlines Inc soared 26
percent to a near 11-month high after the Asahi Shimbun reported
that the struggling airlines asked for help from both ANA
Holdings and Japan Airlines by selling flights
from next spring under their codes to help reduce vacant seats.
    The broader Topix shed 1.4 percent to 1,359.57, with
all of its 33 subsectors falling. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400
 declined 1.5 percent to 12,336.47.

 (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)