Impact of Omicron covid variant, oil prices, dollar volatility

SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Thursday as investors assessed the risks surrounding the Covid omicron variant.

NS Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.15% while the Topix index fell 0.29%.

In Australia, ASX 200 decreased by 0.09% as the energy and materials sub-indexes decreased by 0.52% and 0.27%. Stocks of major mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP down 0.61% and 0.96% respectively.

Korean shares rise, with benchmark Kospi up 0.53% and Kosdaq 1.11% higher.

Mainland China shares also traded higher after the market opened. NS Shanghai composite up 0.19% and Shenzhen Ingredients add 0.13%.

Hong Kong stocks also rose Hang Seng Index The tech-focused Hang Seng Tech index gained 0.94%, up 1.55%.

Macao’s stock trading Suncity Group and its unit Summit Ascent Holdings was suspended. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange did not give further details about the suspension. That comes days after the Suncity executive was arrested for allegedly having links to cross-border gambling, Reuters reported.

Stateide, Key averages post third consecutive day of gains while European shares close lower.

Rodrigo Catril, senior forex strategist at National Australia Bank, said: “After a solid rally over the previous two days, equities are breathing a sigh of relief with European equities closing doors lower amid concerns about the need for a new round of currency restrictions,” Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, said in an early morning note.

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Investors are keeping an eye on the Covid omicron variant, which has rocked the market in recent weeks.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday said Variations that could change the course of the pandemic. Scientists worldwide are trying to determine how contagious and deadly omicrons are and how effective existing vaccines are against the virus.

While preliminary evidence from South Africa, where the variant was first identified, may suggest that omicrons are milder than the delta strain, WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19 said it was “too early to draw conclusions”. argue” that.

Currency and oil

The US dollar recovers slightly against a basket of its currencies – dollar index up 0.12% to 96,013 from the previous close at 95,984.

NS Japanese yen relatively flat, changing hands at 113.73 per dollar while Australian dollar traded 0.14% lower at $0.7161.

Oil prices rise overnight as the global benchmark Brent stabilized above $75 per barrel.

During the Asian trading hours on Thursday, prices also rose. US crude traded 0.43% higher at $72.67 while Brent was up 0.29% to $76.04.

“Crude oil extended recent gains amid falling inventories and concerns about the impact of Omicron on consumption,” ANZ Research analysts said in a morning note.

Pfizer and BioNTech say initial lab studies showed that the third dose of their vaccine restored protection against the new variant. This has seen Brent oil prices rise more than 9% over the past two days as the market reassess the likely impact on demand,” the analysts said. Impact of Omicron covid variant, oil prices, dollar volatility


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