Nikkei slips to 5-week low on oil slump, global growth concern
* All 33 subsectors in negative territory * Profit-taking may run its course around Christmas - analyst * Skymark Airlines shines on report ANA and JAL offering help 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)
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