Global stocks mixed after new virus variant spread | Economic news



By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) – European stocks and oil prices rebounded on Monday as Asian markets fell further after the omicron variant of the coronavirus was discovered in more countries and governments imposed travel controls.

London and Frankfurt opened up. Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong fell, although losses were lower than on Friday after information about the variant first spotted in South Africa appeared to spread around the world.

On Wall Street, the future of the benchmark S&P 500 was up 0.7%. The future of the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5%.

“Markets rebounded this morning following reassuring rumors over the weekend about the seriousness of the Omicron,” Capital Economics’ Neil Shearing said in a report. “But it’s unlikely we’ll have a full picture for several weeks.”

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In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.8% to 7,100.22. The Frankfurt DAX gained 0.8% to 15,392.78 and the Paris CAC 40 rose 1% to 3,808.48.

On Friday, the S&P 500 fell 2.3% for its biggest daily loss since February. The Dow Jones lost 2.5% while the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.2%.

Investors sold shares of banks, energy and airlines and shifted money to bonds and other safe-haven assets.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.6% to 28,283.92 after Japan announced it would ban foreigners from entry from Tuesday.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost less than 0.1% to 3,462.70 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.9% to 23,852.24.

Seoul’s Kospi was down 0.9% to 2,909.32 and Sydney’s S & P-ASX 200 was down 0.5% to 7,239.80.

The Indian Sensex gained 0.9% to 57,599.03. New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok fell as Jakarta advanced.

The World Health Organization has called the omicron “highly transmissible,” but it was not clear if it was more dangerous than previous variants.

Governments have imposed new travel controls, fueling investor fears of possible setbacks in containing the pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people since the first cases in late 2019.

The new variant has been found in Hong Kong, Belgium and Tel Aviv. The European Union, the United States and Great Britain have imposed restrictions on travel from Africa. Israel prohibits the entry of foreigners.

Also on Monday, the Japanese government announced that retail sales rose 1.1% in October from the previous month. Vehicle sales fell 6.7%.

The omicron variant could complicate planning for central banks who decide when and how to withdraw stimulus measures that raise stock prices.

Investors were rocked last week when notes from the Federal Reserve’s October meeting showed officials were prepared to consider raising interest rates earlier than expected in response to higher inflation. The Fed previously said its first rate hike may not come until the end of 2022.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude jumped $ 3.50 to $ 71.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rebounding from Friday’s $ 10.24 drop. Brent crude jumped $ 3.37 to $ 74.96 a barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 113.36 Japanese yen from 113.19 yen on Friday. The euro fell from $ 1.1319 to $ 1.1272.

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