The Japanese government raised its overall economic assessment for the first time in 17 months
Wall Street stocks slid at the start of the week as investors continues to express concerns over a rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. The strain has been found in 43 out of 50 U.S. states already, raising worries about the outlook for economic activity. Furthermore, the US has reported the first Omicron-related death on Monday. In individual stocks, streaming giant Netflix bucked the trend, gaining 1.9%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.23%, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite declined 1.2%, and the S&P 500 shed 1.14%.
Asian markets gained on Tuesday as risk sentiment has improved somewhat after the Japanese government raised its overall economic assessment for the first time in 17 months, citing the services sector underpinned by easing coronavirus restrictions. Against this backdrop, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied over 2% while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.8% after a slide on Monday.
In Europe, equities opened higher today despite rising infections from the Omicron coronavirus variant. The regional Stoxx 600 index rallied 1% in early deals to erase most of yesterday’s losses. On the data front, Germany’s Gfk consumer sentiment index for January came in at -6.8 versus -2.7 expected as Omicron woes weigh heavy on sentiment.
Meanwhile, the dollar has gone into a consolidation phase on Tuesday, with the USD index hovering around 96.50. EURUSD extends its recovery, challenging the 1.1300 figure during the European hours. However, the common currency is yet to confirm the latest bounce as bearish risks continue to persist amid the ongoing pandemic. On the downside, the key immediate support arrives at 1.1230, followed by 1.1200.