France has reported cases above 100,000 for the first time
Asian stock markets started the last week of 2021 on a mixed note, with investors continuing to monitor developments in the virus front. As the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant continues, the resumptions of restrictions could be expected in the coming days or weeks. Of note, China reported 206 new COVID-19 cases for December 25, up from 140 on the previous day.
In the US, the airlines canceled nearly 900 flights on Saturday, citing staff shortages associated with the surge in Omicron infections. The Shanghai Composite index erased early gains to shed 0.20% on Monday even as the PBOC announced that it will remain proactive in its use of monetary policy tools. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 slipped nearly 0.4% and the Kospi in South Korea fell 0.43%. Markets were closed in Hong Kong and Australia.
European equities opened slightly lower in holiday-thinned trade on Monday. Over the weekend, France has reported cases above 100,000 for the first time. As Omicron-related worries persist, with many markets still closed due to the Christmas holidays, regional stocks will likely continue to oscillate around the opening levels during the session amid a lack of significant news and drivers. US stock indexes futures were mixed but steady in early pre-market trading.
Meanwhile, the USD-pairs keep treading water within tight and familiar ranges. EURUSD stays above both the 1.1300 figure and the 20-DMA while the 1.1340 area continues to cap bullish attempts. It looks like the common currency could get back below the 1.1300 threshold in the short term if risk sentiment continues to deteriorate amid growing worries about omicron headlines.