Tokyo stocks open lower on fears over new COVID variant

© Kyodo News

Tokyo stocks opened lower Monday after the new Omicron coronavirus variant detected in several countries over the weekend raised fears that the spread of infections could dampen the global economic recovery.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 249.69 points, or 0.87 percent, from Friday to 28,501.93. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 26.63 points, or 1.34 percent, at 1,958.35.

Decliners were led by air transportation, land transportation and rubber product issues.

At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 113.72-113.73 yen compared with 113.44-54 yen in New York and 114.16-17 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.

The euro was quoted at $1.1292-1292 and 128.41-128.48 yen against $1.1310-1320 and 128.36-46 yen in New York and $1.1233-1234 and 128.24-28 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.