Asian stocks log more losses as omicron variant of COVID spreads

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian banal markets fell further Monday aft the omicron variant of the coronavirus was recovered successful much countries and governments imposed question controls.

Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney declined, though losses were overmuch smaller than Friday’s crisp diminution aft reports said the variant archetypal spotted successful South Africa appeared to beryllium spreading astir the globe.

On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 scale fell 2.3% for its biggest regular nonaccomplishment since February. Investors sold banks, vigor and hose stocks and shifted wealth into bonds and different harmless haven assets.

“Financial marketplace volatility volition apt persist done this week,” said Venkateswaran Lavanya of Mizuho Bank successful a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.28% mislaid 0.3%, portion the Nikkei 225 successful Tokyo shed 1.6%. The Hang Seng HSI, -1.12% successful Hong Kong sank 1%.

The Kospi successful Seoul declined 0.8% and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 XJO, -0.54% retreated 0.5%. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets besides were lower.

It is unclear whether the omicron variant is much unsafe than earlier versions, though the World Health Organization called it “highly transmissible.”

Governments person imposed caller question controls, fueling capitalist fears astir imaginable setbacks successful containing the pandemic that has killed much than 5 cardinal radical since the archetypal cases successful precocious 2019.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida connected Monday announced the authorities volition halt arsenic of Nov. 30 its caller alteration to its borderline power policies that had allowed overseas concern travelers and trainees to participate the state aft a long, pandemic-related hiatus.

The caller variant has been recovered successful Hong Kong, Belgium and Tel Aviv and South African cities including Johannesburg. The European Union, the United States and Britain imposed curbs connected question from Africa. Israel banned introduction by foreigners.
Also Monday, Japan’s authorities reported retail income roseate 1.1% successful October implicit the erstwhile month. Vehicle income fell 6.7%.

On Friday, the S&P 500 scale SPX, -2.27% dropped 106.84 points to 4,594.62. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.53% mislaid 905.04 points, oregon 2.5%, to 34,899.34 aft falling much than 1,000 astatine 1 point. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -2.23% mislaid 2.2%, to 15,491.66.

Exxon XOM, -3.51% fell 3.5% portion Chevron CVX, -2.29% shed 2.3%. JPMorgan Chase JPM, -3.01% dropped 3%.

United Airlines UAL, -9.57% gave up 9.6% and American Airlines AAL, -8.79% declined 8.8%.

Vaccine makers benefited. Pfizer PFE, +6.11% shares roseate much than 6% portion Moderna MRNA, +20.57% shares jumped much than 20%.

Investors shifted wealth into bonds and companies that benefited from erstwhile rounds of anti-disease controls. Online meetings work institution Zoom Communications ZM, +5.72% roseate astir 6%.

The omicron variant mightiness complicate readying by cardinal banks that are deciding erstwhile and however to retreat stimulus that is boosting banal prices.

Investors were rattled past week erstwhile notes from the Federal Reserve’s October gathering showed officials said they were acceptable to see raising involvement rates sooner than planned successful effect to higher inflation. The Fed antecedently said its archetypal complaint hike mightiness not travel until precocious 2022.

In vigor markets, benchmark U.S. crude CL00, +4.72% surged $2.69 to $70.85 per tube successful physics trading connected the New York Mercantile Exchange, rebounding from Friday’s $10.24 plunge. Brent crude BRN00, +4.05% jumped $3.78 to $75.38 per tube successful London.

The dollar roseate to 113.68 Japanese yen USDJPY, -0.09% from Friday’s 113.19 yen. The euro EURUSD, -0.34% fell to $1.1281 from $1.1319.

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