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The S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and European contracts surged, WTI oil returned to around $ 71 a barrel and the 10-year US Treasury yield exceeded 1.50%. Asian stocks fell, but moves were smaller than in Friday’s massive sell-off of global equities, which wiped out more than $ 2 trillion in market value.
The euro slipped and the dollar gauge was stable. South Africa’s currency, where the variant was identified, rose against the greenback. Although much remains unanswered about the new strain, two South African health experts have suggested that it has so far shown mild symptoms. The World Health Organization has called for caution, saying it will take time to assess the pathogen.
Traders pushed back the expected schedule of a first 25 basis point rate hike by the Federal Reserve to July compared to June. Atlanta Fed Bank chairman Raphael Bostic downplayed the economic risks of a new variant, saying he was open to faster cuts in asset purchases to curb inflation.
Investors are trying to determine whether the omicron surge ends up being a relatively brief scare that markets will eventually rebound from, or a harder blow to the global economic recovery. The prospect of tightening monetary policy to cope with price pressures was already complicating the outlook.
“We know central banks can quickly take an accommodating stance if they need to,” Mahjabeen Zaman, senior investment specialist at Citigroup, told Bloomberg Television. “The liquidity playbook that we have at stake right now will continue to support the market as we begin to live with Covid. “
Zaman also warned of higher volatility in a shorter time frame for markets heading towards year end.
Japan led the declines in the Asian equities session after the government closed borders to visitors. The region’s reopening stocks such as restaurants, department stores, rail operators and travel stocks also suffered losses.
Meanwhile, Moderna Inc.’s chief medical officer said a reformulated vaccine to fight the new strain may be available early in the new year.
“Markets have traded through all previous variants of Covid and have just reached all-time highs,” said Jun Bei Liu, portfolio manager at Tribeca Investment Partners Pty. in Sydney. “I expect us to do the same for this one. “
Elsewhere, shares of Macau casino operators plunged after police arrested the chief of junket operator Suncity Group. In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has climbed and traded around $ 57,400, after falling below $ 54,000 on Friday.
Here are some key events to watch out for this week:
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and New York Fed Chairman John Williams speak at virtual event on Monday
- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks in Tokyo
- Powell and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen in the US Senate on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they face the House Financial Services Committee.
- Eurozone CPI, Tuesday
- Chinese PMI, Tuesday
- Eurozone manufacturing PMI, Wednesday
- China Caixin Manufacturing PMI, Wednesday
- OPEC and its allies may reassess their plans to boost oil supplies on Thursday
- Mary Daly of the San Francisco Fed and Tom Barkin of the Richmond Fed discuss the job market and inflationary pressures at a virtual event on Thursday
- November US Employment Report Friday
For more market analysis, read our MLIV blog.
Some of the main movements in the markets:
- S&P 500 futures rose 0.8% at 6 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 fell 2.3% on Friday
- Futures on the Nasdaq 100 rose 1%. The Nasdaq 100 fell 2.1% on Friday
- Japan’s Topix index fell 1.8%
- Australian S & P / ASX 200 index fell 0.5%
- South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.8%
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.8%
- China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3%
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 1.2%
- The Japanese yen was at 113.32 per dollar
- The offshore yuan was at 6.3841 to the dollar, up 0.2%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index changed little
- The euro was at $ 1.1281, down 0.3%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 4.6% to $ 71.26 a barrel
- Gold fell 0.4% to $ 1,795.31 an ounce
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