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European Stocks and US Futures Improve as Omicron Virus Fear Dulls | Economic news

By JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

BEIJING (AP) – European stocks and oil prices rebounded and Wall Street was set to open higher on Monday even as Asian markets fell further, with investors weighing the new variant of the coronavirus, omicron, as the ‘found in more countries and prompting some governments to reimpose travel controls.

The references in London, Frankfurt and Paris had won by noon. Indices in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong ended lower, although losses were lower than on Friday, triggered by reports that the variant first spotted in South Africa appeared to be spreading around the world .

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 futures contracts rose 0.9%. Futures contracts for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7%.

As health officials rushed to analyze the new variant, traders clung to hopes that it wouldn’t be more serious than other strains of the virus.

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“The potential for a less deadly form of the virus appears to provide some respite from the sense of risk that dominates Friday’s trading,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG. “However, the coming weeks are fraught with dangers for investors.”

The FTSE 100 in London rose 1.2% to 7,122.61. The Frankfurt DAX gained 0.6% to 15,352.00, and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.8% to 6,797.65.

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 last week and shifted money to bonds and other safe-haven assets.

But this pattern was reversed on Monday. IAG, owner of British Airways and Spanish airline Iberia, jumped 4.2%, while UK low-cost carrier Easyjet rose 3.9%.

In the United States, the travel and energy sectors as well as businesses expected to thrive when the pandemic loosens its grip, such as computer chipmakers and hospitals, were to lead the rebound on Monday with Wall Street’s faith in it. a seemingly reinvigorated emerging global economy.

But in Asia, the Nikkei 225 ended down 1.6% at 28,283.92 after Japan announced it would ban foreigners from entry from Tuesday.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost less than 0.1% to 3,562.70, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng 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 0.3% to 57,260.58. New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok fell, while 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 as far away as Hong Kong, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Portugal and Israel. The European Union, the United States and Great Britain have imposed restrictions on travel from Africa. Israel has banned the entry of foreigners and Morocco has suspended all inbound flights for two weeks.

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 $ 3.41 to $ 71.45 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, rebounding from Friday’s $ 10.24 drop. Brent crude jumped $ 3.26 to $ 75.98 a barrel in London.

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 dollar rose to 113.60 Japanese yen from 113.19 yen on Friday. The euro fell from $ 1.1319 to $ 1.1291.

Associated Press writer Kelvin Chan contributed to this report from London.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson