SHANGHAI, Nov 30 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The dollar firmed on Monday, while the yen and Swiss franc weakened, reversing some of Friday’s moves, as fears about the new coronavirus variant receded, with governments around the world seeking further information about the most recent mutation and its impact.
The omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa, prompted a financial markets sell-off on Friday on fears it would further disrupt a growing economic recovery after the two-year pandemic.
The World Health Organization said it was not yet clear whether Omicron, which has now been found around the world, is more transmissible than other variants or if it causes more severe disease.
Markets calmed somewhat on Monday, however, with U.S. stock and oil prices rebounding, as investors took a more balanced view, waiting until the impact of the variant becomes clearer.
Stock futures climbed in overnight trading on Monday following a rebound on Wall Street as investors reassessed risks associated with the new omicron Covid variant.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 110 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both rose 0.3%.
The overnight action came after a broad-based comeback that saw the S&P 500 jump 1.3% with all 11 sectors registering gains. Major averages rose to session highs on Monday after President Joe Biden said economic lockdowns are currently off the table and there will be no new travel restrictions. The blue-chip Dow ended the day up more than 200 points.
Oil prices jumped Monday as traders bet that Friday’s sharp sell-off, prompted by fears that the new omicron Covid variant will curb demand for petroleum products, was overdone.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, gained $1.80, or 2.6%, to settle at $69.95 per barrel. Earlier in the session it traded as high as $72.93, although the contract drifted lower throughout the session and was unable to hold the key $70 level.
WTI tumbled 13% on Friday for its worst day since April 2020. It also closed below its 200-day moving average — a closely followed technical indicator — for the first time since November 2020.
Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, settled 0.99% higher at $73.44 per barrel. The contract declined 11.55% on Friday, and along with WTI registered a fifth straight week of losses.
Gold eased on Monday, resuming a broad decline from the previous week, as the dollar firmed and risk sentiment recovered with markets weighing how severe the economic impact would be from the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,784.41 per ounce by 11:17 a.m. ET (1617 GMT) after ending last week 2.9% lower, its biggest weekly drop since June. U.S. gold futures remained unchanged at $1,786.30.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up by 0.8% with oil and gas shares climbing 2.2% to lead the gains. Almost all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory, with stocks looking to rebound from Friday’s sell-off.
The World Health Organization labeled the new omicron strain a “variant of concern” on Friday.