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27 Dec 2021

Asian Stocks and Crude Oil Dip amid Looming Fears of Omicron

The Index Today

Asian stocks and crude oil experienced a decrease over lower holiday-inspired trades amid rising fears over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Several flights have been cancelled over the holiday weekend due to COVID-related reasons while cruise ships have also sustained a blow following virus flare-ups on vessels. China has also reported a record high of infections in 21 months with Xian being the nation’s current hotspot.

Japan’s Nikkei and South Korea’s Kospi experienced a decrease of 0.37% and 0.43% respectively. Despite China’s policies to revive the struggling real estate sector, shares of Mainland China saw a decline as Shanghai’s benchmark and blue chip index dipped 0.48% and 0.22% each.

According to Jeffrey Halley, a Senior Market Analyst at OANDA, "Omicron cases are surging in the U.S. and Europe, and although markets have well and truly priced in a less virulent strain, the disruption to goods and services from isolating workers, notably air travel, seems to be the main fallout so far." Halley contended that while this may create temporary apprehension, “the global recovery story for 2022 [is] still on track."

Brent crude oil plunged by 20 cents with barrels priced at $75.94 each, while the West Texas Intermediate futures dropped by 90 cents to $72.87 per barrel.

©Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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