Nikkei slides as prolonged oil slump undermines risk appetite

martes 13 de enero de 2015 22:24 GYT
 

* Oil companies, trading houses lead losses
    * Nikkei falls below Ichimoku cloud support
    * Yen's gains hurt some exporters, overall impact muted

    By Hideyuki Sano
    TOKYO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell
1.1 percent on Wednesday, with oil-related shares leading the
losses as plummeting oil prices showed no sign of abating on
worries about the global economic outlook.
    The Nikkei fell 196 points to 16,891.96.
    Although it managed to stay above Tuesday's low, it has
slipped below an important support from the Ichimoku cloud top,
which comes in around 17,033, for the first time since the Bank
of Japan's surprise policy easing on Oct. 31.
    "At the moment, the market is focusing on the negative side
of plunging oil prices, like their impact on oil producing
countries and credit products," said Tsuyoshi Shimizu, chief
strategist at Mizuho Asset Management.
    While cheaper oil prices help consumers in many
oil-importing economies, such as Japan, investors are more
worried about their impact on various oil producers as oil
prices more than halved in just over six months to near six-year
lows.
    Oil-related shares led the losses, with JX Holdings 
falling 2.6 percent in heavy trade. Showa Shell shed
2.9 percent 
    Shares in trading companies, considered as resource plays
because of their heavy investments in energy and other raw
materials, were also under pressure. Mitsui Co Ltd fell
1.5 percent. 
    Investors are likely to start bargain-hunting only after
they will be convinced that oil prices have hit a bottom, market
players also said.
    Uncertainty over Greece's election later this month also
suggests the market may remain capped for now, they added.
    The yen's rebound to a one-month high hurt some
currency-sensitive exporters' shares, with automaker Mazda
 falling 1.5 percent.
    Still, the overall impact of the yen's move was muted with
many exporters outperforming the market as many investors see
the yen's gains as a natural correction after its sharp fall
late last year.
    The yen rose to as high as 117.495 to the dollar from
a 7 1/2-year low of 121.86 hit in early December.
    Even at the current levels, the yen is more than 12 percent
cheaper than a year ago and compared with just three months ago
it is weaker by more than 8 percent, meaning many exporters look
set to boost profits.
    The broader Topix fell 0.8 percent while the
JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.7 percent.

 (Editing by Kim Coghill)