Pfizer and BioNTech said three doses of their vaccine are neutralizing the new coronavirus variant
Wall Street stocks were mostly higher Wednesday, but the bullish momentum has slowed after a two-day rally. Earlier, markets were boosted by reports that Pfizer and BioNTech said three doses of their vaccine are effective at neutralizing the omicron variant. Still, Pfizer stocks finished 0.62% lower overnight.
On the data front, the US Labor Department said that the number of workers who left their jobs fell in October by 4.7%. As such, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed marginally higher at the end of the session to close up 0.1%, the S&P 500 inched 0.3% higher, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%.
Asian stocks were mixed on Thursday, with investors digesting the latest Chinese inflation data. The impact of the new omicron variant on the economic recovery remains in focus as well. China’s Shanghai Composite was up 1.05% after the data showed that the consumer price index grew 2.3% year-on-year and 0.4% month-on-month in November – the fastest pace since August 2020.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged down nearly 0.5% after a strong magnitude 6 quake jolted the Tokara Islands in Kagoshima Prefecture. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 inched down 0.3%, while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.54%.
In currencies, the dollar gained during the European hours on Wednesday but finished the day down against most major counterparts despite government bond yields extended gains to fresh weekly highs. In a wider picture, however, the US currency continues to derive support from the notion that the Fed may speed up tapering next week.
GBP/USD plunged to a fresh 2021 low of 1.3163 to trim intraday losses to the 1.3200 figure eventually due to a weaker dollar. Meanwhile, EURUSD rallied above the 1.1300 handle and advanced to the 1.1350 region. However, the bullish potential remains limited as Fed rate hike chatters have renewed on firmer inflation expectations.