URGENT: Nikkei down over 3% in afternoon on COVID variant concern

Economy

The Nikkei stock index dropped over 3 percent Friday afternoon, trading at its lowest intraday level in about a month, as selling accelerated on concerns over reports of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa. As of 1 p.m., the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average was down 828.38 points, or 2.81 percent, from Thursday at 28,670.90. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 45.45 points, or 2.24 percent, lower at 1,980.24.

Kyodo News

Kyodo News