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Indian Morning Briefing : Asian Markets Mixed; Omicron Variant Jitters Start to Ease

11/29/2021 | 10:16pm EST
DJIA            35135.94    236.60     0.68% 
Nasdaq          15782.83    291.18     1.88% 
S&P 500          4655.27     60.65     1.32% 
FTSE 100         7109.95     65.92     0.94% 
Nikkei Stock    28601.69    317.77     1.12% 
Hang Seng       23705.15   -147.09    -0.62% 
Kospi            2898.32    -11.00    -0.38% 
SGX Nifty*      17107.00     +17.0     0.10% 
*Dec contract 
USD/JPY   113.66-67  +0.12% 
Range     113.89   113.52 
EUR/USD   1.1303-06  +0.10 
Range     1.1306   1.1285 
CBOT Wheat Dec $8.074 per bushel 
Spot Gold  $1,785.80/oz  0.1% 
Nymex Crude (NY) $69.62 $1.47 

Stocks and oil prices bounced back from Friday's selloff, with investors betting that the Omicron Covid-19 variant will cause less damage to the global economic recovery than initially feared.

The S&P 500 jumped 1.3% as of the 4 p.m. close of trading, recouping many of its losses after the index suffered its worst one-day percentage decline in nine months. Friday's selloff came after South Africa identified a fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization named Omicron, and countries around the world responded with a fresh wave of travel restrictions.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.9%, boosted by investor appetite for technology stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.7%.


Japanese stocks were broadly higher in morning trade, as initial selloffs driven by concerns about the Omicron variant ran their course. Investors were focused on any developments over Covid-19 containment measures in Japan and elsewhere. The Nikkei Stock Average was up 1.0% at 28566.32.

South Korea's Kospi fell 1.0% to 2879.79 in early trade, after earlier recouping Monday's losses on concerns about the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Foreigners turned net sellers, with the index erasing previous gains. The benchmark's earlier rebound was driven by gains in tech, transport and chemical stocks, as investors digested the possible impact of the new variant on the economy. No Omicron-variant case has been found yet in the country.

Hong Kong stocks were lower in morning trade, as the benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 0.7% to 23687.72. KGI Securities pointed out that equities in the Asian financial hub have been weak in recent sessions, as the Hong Kong dollar continued to weaken against the U.S. dollar. The brokerage reckoned the market would remain range-bound at current levels today.

Chinese stocks were broadly higher in early trade, supported by gains in the steel sector. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% to 3574.50 and the Shenzhen Composite Index was 0.3% higher at 2524.24. The ChiNext Price Index slipped 0.1% lower to 3499.29. China's manufacturing and services PMI data was in focus, while investors will also keep an eye on news about the Covid-19 Omicron variant, IG said. Chinese steel companies were higher due to the current favorable supply and demand dynamics. "The tight steel supply provides Chinese steel companies with some pricing power," CreditSights said.


USD/JPY was recovering modestly, as the global market rout driven by concerns about the Omicron variant eased. Further gains by the pair may rest on the strength of the U.S. economic recovery and crude oil movements. The emerging Covid-19 variant has triggered travel restrictions in some parts of the world and has cast a cloud over the Fed's path to tightening. Fed Chairman Powell is scheduled to appear before the Senate Banking Committee later in the day. Powell said in prepared remarks that the Omicron variant risks intensifying supply-chain disruptions that have fueled a surge in inflation. USD/JPY was at 113.75, up from 113.52 as of Monday 5 p.m. Eastern Time.


Gold inched higher in early trade. Traders were likely watching for the timing of an expected rate increase by the Fed, and signs that it will start to taper off asset purchases more quickly than expected, Oanda said. President Biden has also said that economic lockdowns in response to the Omicron variant are off the table, which means that safe-haven demand for the commodity is likely to gradually ease, Oanda added. Spot gold was 0.1% higher at $1,785.80/oz.


Oil rose in early Asia trade as jitters caused by the Omicron variant of Covid-19 started to ease. However, as uncertainty remains about the level of danger, OPEC has delayed its technical meeting to give it more time to assess the situation. Aside from updates on the Omicron variant, ANZ expected traders to also focus on talks to potentially revive the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. The front-month WTI crude contract rose 1.4% to $70.90/bbl, while the front-month Brent crude was up 1.3% at $74.40/bbl.

China Manufacturing Gauge Shows Rebound in November 
New Omicron Variant Exacerbates Inflation Uncertainty, Powell Says 
Stocks Rise as Investors Shrug Off Omicron Worries 
Oil Prices Stabilize After Omicron-Driven Friday Selloff 
Cyber Monday Sales Are Expected to Stall 
FTC Asks Amazon, Walmart for Information on Supply-Chain Issues 
CDC Says Everyone 18 and Older Should Get Covid-19 Booster 
Turkey's Lira Crisis Exposes Reliance on Imported Energy 
Australia Posts Record Current Account Surplus 
FDA Moving to Authorize Pfizer-BioNTech Booster for 16-, 17-Year-Olds 
Pentagon to Probe 2019 Syria Airstrike That Killed Women and Children 
Iran Doubles Down on Demands as Nuclear Talks Resume 
Pentagon Plans to Improve Airfields in Guam, Australia to Confront China 
Lululemon Hits Back at Peloton, Sues Over Allegedly Copied Designs 
Amazon Alabama Workers to Hold New Union Vote, Labor Official Rules 
Microsoft's Nadella Sells Half of His Shares in Company 
Schick Owner Edgewell Personal Care Buys Women's Razor Brand Billie 
Goldman Expands Benefits to Combat Employee Burnout 
Jack Dorsey Steps Down as CEO of Twitter 
Asymchem Laboratories Plans to Raise $968 Million in Hong Kong IPO 
Omicron Variant Has Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Preparing for Worst Case 
Hertz Targets $2 Billion in Buybacks 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-29-21 2215ET

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