Stocks and oil prices tumble as Moderna CEO says current vaccines will struggle with Omicron – .

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Stocks in Asia-Pacific and Europe fell, Dow futures fell 1%, and oil prices fell about 2% as more countries reported variant cases and imposed new ones travel restrictions. The mood was also tempered by a warning from Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel that current vaccines will struggle with Omicron.

“There are no people, I think, where [the effectiveness] is of the same level. . . we had with [the] Delta [variant] Bancel said in an interview with the Financial Times published Tuesday. “I think it’s going to be a big drop. I don’t know how much because we have to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to… tell me, “It’s not going to be right.”

that of South Korea Kospi (KOSPI) led the losses in the region, falling 2.4%, while Japan Nikkei 225 (N225) fell 1.6%. that of Hong Kong Indice Hang Seng (HSI) fell 1.6%. The Composite de Shanghai (SHCOMP) was flat. The Chinese economy received good news on Tuesday as its large factories showed signs of recovery. European indices opened about 1% less.

There is still a lot of unknowns about the Omicron variant, but scientists are rushing to determine its severity, transmissibility, and whether it escapes current vaccines.

Bancel de Moderna said in a statement last week that the Omicron variant mutations were “relevant”, adding that the company “was moving as fast as possible to execute our strategy to combat this variant.”

The world has settled into a “model of restless waiting, for clarity on [how] worried, or not, we should be about the new variant of Covid-19 Omicron, ”Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia-Pacific in Oanda, wrote in a research note on Tuesday.

He pointed out that shares had fallen in South Korea after the government there put aside plans to ease its Covid-19 restrictions, “highlighting once again what is really driving the markets right now.”

Japan, meanwhile, confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant on Tuesday.

U.S. stocks made a comeback on Monday after a massive selloff prompted by Omicron late last week. But they look set to fall back into the red on Tuesday: Dow (UNDUE) futures fell 1% for the last time, while S&P 500 (SPX) futures contracts fell 0.8%. Nasdaq (COMP) futures contracts slipped 0.4%.

“The fact that markets have not completely unwound Friday’s slumps suggests at least some caution remains,” added Halley.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to testify on Tuesday that the Omicron variant threatens the US economic recovery. If the variant prolongs the pandemic, it could keep prices up, hurt job growth, and exacerbate the supply chain crisis.

Oil prices are also falling, after collapsing on Friday over concerns that the variant could hurt energy demand by reducing the number of people driving and taking flights. Brent crude, the global benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, both fell about 2% to trade below $ 72 and $ 69 a barrel, respectively.

– CNN’s Junko Ogura contributed to this report.

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