Investors Continue to Monitor Omicron Covid Variant – .

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Investors Continue to Monitor Omicron Covid Variant – .


SINGAPORE – Stocks in Asia-Pacific fell on Monday as investors continue to monitor developments surrounding the recently discovered omicron Covid variant.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.6%. Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech giant Meituan fell 7% after the company reported a loss of around 10 billion Chinese yuan ($ 1.56 billion) for the quarter ended Sept. 30 on Friday.

Mainland China stocks also fell, with the Shanghai Composite Index down 0.83% and the Shenzhen component down 0.29%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.92% while the Topix index lost 1.12%. South Korean Kospi lost 0.83%.

Australian stocks also fell, with the S & P / ASX 200 falling 0.44%.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific equities excluding Japan traded down 0.45%.

Elsewhere, US equity futures rose after Friday’s sell-off, with US investors also on the lookout for the latest developments related to the omicron variant.
Global markets fell late last week as the World Health Organization (WHO) called the omicron strain of Covid a “variant of concern.” In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Japan and Hang Seng in Hong Kong both fell more than 2% on Friday.

“Things will definitely be a bit riskier going forward,” John Vail, chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.

“This variant, it seems, may not be as horrible as the market thought on Friday, but it still needs to eliminate some of the excessive risk-taking and maybe some of the consumption. excessive in the world too. people are getting a little bit more careful, ”Vail said.

The WHO said in a statement on Sunday that it was still not clear whether infection with the omicron Covid variant causes more severe disease compared to other strains, including delta.

Oil and bitcoin prices rebound

Oil prices were higher on the morning of trading hours in Asia, after falling 13% on Friday, its worst day this year.
International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 4% to $ 75.63 per barrel. US crude futures gained 4.67% to $ 71.33 per barrel.

Bitcoin prices were also higher, recovering after falling on Friday. The cryptocurrency was up 5.74% and trading at $ 57,753.40 as of 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, according to data from Coin Metrics.

Spot gold was trading at $ 1,793.46 an ounce, after falling more than $ 1,800 at the end of last week.

The Japanese yen, widely regarded as a safe haven currency, traded at 113.56 per dollar after strongly strengthening late last week above 114.8 against the greenback.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.234 after falling recently from above 96.4.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7136, after falling above $ 0.725 last week.

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