The Netherlands went into lockdown over the weekend
Wall Street stocks edged lower on Friday amid a combination of worries about the spreading Omicron coronavirus variant and tighter monetary policy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.5%, the S&P 500 fell 1%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell less than 0.1% after a brief dip to session lows. In individual stocks, Alphabet and Apple fell more than 4% during the week.
Asian stocks extended losses on Monday as risk aversion persisted at the start of the week. Surging Omicron cases triggered tighter restrictions in several countries, threatening the global economic recovery. As such, the Netherlands went into lockdown over the weekend, and other countries could follow. Shanghai Composite was down 1.07% after China cut its one-year loan prime rate for the first time since April 2020.
In Europe, equities fell over 2% on Monday amid the ongoing global sell-off as cases of the Omicron variant surge. The pan-European STOXX 600 hit the lowest level in more than two weeks. US stock index futures lose ground in early pre-market deals as Goldman Sachs has cut US GDP forecast for 2022.
In currencies, the dollar looks mixed-to-higher at the start of the week, deriving support from the persistent safe-haven demand. The USD index is now back at this year’s highs, with GBPUSD is back below the 1.3200 figure amid intensifying risk-off trades triggered by uncertainties around Omicron restrictions in the UK. British Health Secretary is expected to announce later today whether social mixing will be curtailed over the Christmas period.