Home > Market Update: European markets open higher despite omicron concerns

Market Update: European markets open higher despite omicron concerns

  • European stocks are trading higher as investors seek to start the week on a positive following Friday’s sell-off
  • Indexes are edging into the green zone even as concerns around the new Covid variant omicron mount
  • The jitters in the markets remain though as seen during early deals on Monday

All the major indexes across the European market have opened higher on Monday, the new week starting on a positive footing for the markets as the world keenly watches the pandemic situation following discovery of a new Covid-19 variant named omicron.

The variant, which was discovered in South Africa, has been reported in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong. This even as the UK and the US reacted swiftly by suspending all travel from several nations neighbouring South Africa.

The pan-European Stoxx600 index is higher by 5 points, or just above 1% in the green. The UK’s FTSE 100 is 77 points up at 7,120, adding about 1.2% on the day, while Germany’s DAX has moved up by 176 points to 15,400. France’s CAC 40 is 78 points at 6,809 as of 0830 UK time.

Ahead this week

News of the omicron variant’s discovery sent stocks plummeting on Friday, with gold seeing a slight uptick amid investor jitters. However, vaccine makers moved higher led by Moderna Inc that jumped more than 24% to lead gainers on the S&P 500.

Wall Street closed lower on Friday, which saw a shortened trading day end with risk aversion high. The Dow Jones shed 3%, the S&P 500 slid 2% and the Nasdaq Composite also sold off 2%.

Despite Monday’s upbeat start to the week, the market remains jittery and key sectors to watch will be travel and healthcare stocks. 

This week, apart from the omicron situation, investors will be keen on November inflation data for the eurozone. Expected out on Tuesday, the data has been forecast to show a 2.2% inflation surge year over year.

Also likely to elicit interest will be Friday’s release of US jobs data for November, and with oil prices edging higher on  Monday, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to supply-related moves from OPEC this week.

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