TOKYO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Japanese shares ended weaker on Tuesday as rising COVID-19 infections sapped investors appetite for risk assets and forced the government to suspend its domestic tourism promotion campaign, hitting airlines and other travel-related stocks.
Investors are locking in profit from recent gains, ahead of policy announcements later this week by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.
Concerns about increasing COVID-19 infections and lockdowns around the world overshadowed optimism over the rollout of coronavirus vaccinations. MKTS/GLOB
Tourism-related shares took a hit after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the travel subsidy programme dubbed "Go To Travel" would be suspended nationwide around the New Year to contain mounting COVID-19 cases. Holdings 9202.T lost 7.9% after investors flipped some of its newly issued stocks while rival JAL 9201.T lost 3.4%. L4N2IV0HD
On the other hand, some game-related shares rode higher as the worsening domestic outbreak is seen as boosting demand for game products.
Clean energy is becoming another hot theme, with Kawasaki Heavy 7012.T rising 5.7%, extending gains on its announcement earlier in the week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd FMG.AX to develop a supply chain of "green" hydrogen. Kinzoku 5491.T rose by daily limit of 28% on speculation of surge in demand for its product for injection needles as COVID-19 vaccinations start globally.
Euglena 2931.T gained 2.5% after the bio-tech firm said it is considering buying health product maker Q'say.
Kobe Bussan 3038.T dropped 7.9% after its earnings fell short of market expectations.
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