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Amid investors’ close monitoring of the ermerging COVID Omicron variant and oil price increase, European stocks were on the rise early on Monday.
US and European stocks saw a rise on Monday morning to signal a great start to the trading week. This positive development comes amid the emergence of the Covid omicron variant as well as Bitcoin’s (BTC) volatility. Conversely, Asian markets slumped with bonds retraced on recent gains, and Saudi Arabia’s crude price increase sparked an oil rally.
European and US Stocks Rise by the Numbers
The European stock index, STOXX 600, increased by 0.7% in early trade, with British polymer firm Victrex adding 4% to take the lead. Meanwhile, Dutch multinational online food and delivery company Just Eat Takeaway dropped by 3.5% to the bottom of the index. This resulted from Bernstein’s downgrade of the company’s stock from ‘outperform’ to ‘market perform.’. Furthermore, concerning data in Europe, German industrial orders fell by 6.9% month-on-month in October. This was well short of the 0.5% consensus forecast decline and primarily caused by weak foreign demand.
Still, more data is expected from Europe, with the eurozone Sentix index for December due later on Monday. In addition, the first estimate of Greece’s gross domestic product in the third quarter is also due today.
As it stands, the euro is at $1.1294, which is still a lot higher than its recent outing at $1.1184.
Meanwhile, in the US, stocks climbed even higher despite the fact that Wall Street had a losing week. This was primarily because investors shed equities amid concerns over the new Omicron variant – and policy tightening by the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 futures gained 0.4%, while the NASDAQ futures added 0.1%. In addition, EUROSTOXX 50 futures climbed 1.1%, while FTSE futures managed 0.8%.
According to reports, the Omicron variant is now in no less than 15 US states.
In the Asia-Pacific, the stocks story was a little different as investors kept close tabs on BTC after it slumped over the weekend. Stocks in this region dropped on Monday, with MSCI’s biggest index of non-Japanese Asia-Pacific shares sliding by 0.5%.
Furthermore, the Japanese Nikkei slid by 0.5%, despite the government contemplating raising its economic growth forecast. The reason for the Japanese government mulling this idea is due to the record $490 billion stimulus package it effected to counter the effects of the pandemic.
There were a few noticeable gains in the Asia-Pacific, with Chinese blue chips gaining 0.6%. This came about after Chinese media reported that Premier Li Keqiang said that the Chinese government will swiftly move to reduce banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRR). Conversely, the shares of China Evergrande Group, the beleaguered property developer, slumped by 11%. The debt-laden firm had earlier suggested that there was no guarantee it could afford to meet debt repayments.
Saudi Arabia raised crude prices for its exports to Asia and the US, as oil and gas stocks inched 1.4% higher. This was sufficient to be at the forefront in gains across all sectors.
BTC was volatile throughout the weekend, trading at $57K on Friday morning, before plummeting to $43K by Saturday. However, on Sunday, the leading crypto had recovered some ground to arrive at $49K – which is still below the $50K threshold.