The ECB doesn’t know how fast omicron will propagate in the Eurozone
Wall Street stocks rebounded solidly overnight from a sell-off triggered by omicron-related worries after the first case was confirmed in the United States, making the White House tighten travel rules. On the data front, US November Challenger layoffs came in at 14.9K versus 22.8K in the previous month, to mark the lowest number since 1993. Meanwhile, US weekly initial jobless claims arrived at 222K versus 240K expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.82%, the S&P 500 rose 1.4%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%.
In Asia, equities were mixed on Friday, as investors continued to evaluate the risks from the new omicron variant. Adding to a more downbeat tone in the regional markets, Kaisa Group Holdings failed to win approval for its proposed debt swap. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.09% to erase most of the early losses. Japan’s Nikkei 225 turned positive after the initial decline and finished 1% higher. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.78% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.22%.
European stock markets opened higher ahead of the weekend, with fears over the potential impact of the omicron variant abating slightly. The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.5% in early trade after yesterday’s fall by more than 1%. In the US, stock index futures look directionless as traders await the US jobs report. Meanwhile, ECB’s Lagarde noted that the central bank doesn’t know how fast omicron will propagate in the Eurozone.
Elsewhere, dollar demand has picked up marginally in recent trading ahead of jobs data. November’s payrolls are expected at 550,000 and the jobless rate at 4.5%. Should the figures exceed expectations, EURUSD could get back below the 1.1250 area to threaten the 1.1235 zone where this week’s lows arrive. On the upside, the 1.1300 figure has turned back into resistance following the failed recovery attempts.