World Shares, US Futures Slip on Worries Over Omicron Risks

World Shares, US Futures Slip on Worries Over Omicron Risks
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

NEW YORK (AP) — Global shares mostly slipped Tuesday as investors cautiously weighed how much damage the new omicron coronavirus variant may unleash on the global economy.

Germany’s DAX lost 1.1% to 15,106.35 in afternoon trading. France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.9%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.8%. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 1.6% lower at 27,821.76, as pessimism over the omicron variant set in. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also fell 1.6%, while the Shanghai Composite was nearly flat.

U.S. shares were set for a lower open, with the future contract for the Dow industrials down 1% at 34,710.00. S&P 500 futures fell 0.8% after the benchmark index rose 1.3% Monday.

Omicron adds more risk to a global economy already contending with paralyzing uncertainty. The variant appears to spread more easily, and countries around the world have put up barriers to travel in hopes of stemming it.


Travel bans, including decisions by Japan and Israel to bar foreign visitors, threaten to disrupt global business. Global supply chains already gummed up by bottlenecks could be further ensnarled if outbreaks shut down factories, ports and freight yards.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says that the appearance of the new variant could slow the U.S. economy and hiring, while also raising uncertainty about inflation.

The recent increase in delta cases and the emergence of the omicron variant “pose downside risks to employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation,” Powell said Monday in prepared remarks to be delivered to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. The new variant could also worsen supply chain disruptions, he said.


Some analysts think a serious economic downturn, like what happened last year, likely will be averted because many people have been vaccinated. But they also think a return to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity, especially in tourism, has been dramatically delayed.

“Uncertainty from the new omicron variant may seem to bring about higher economic risks for (Asia) at a time where it is shifting towards further reopening,” Yeap Jun Rong, market strategist at IG in Singapore, said of the omicron’s impact on Asia.

China’s manufacturing activity rebounded in November as orders improved and power shortages eased, according to a survey by an industry group and the national statistics agency.

The survey found that a monthly purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.1 from October’s 49.2 on a 100-point scale. The index spent the previous two months below 50, showing decreasing activity. A measure of production rose 3.6 points to 52, reflecting a recovery from power rationing imposed in major manufacturing areas in September.

Besides waiting on more clues about how much economic damage omicron will ultimately do, the market has several big mileposts this week that could swing prices. The headliner is likely Friday’s U.S. jobs report, where economists expect to see an acceleration in hiring by employers during November.


In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude dropped $2.03 to $67.92 a barrel. It rose $1.80 to $69.95 per barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $2.29 to $70.93 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar slipped to 112.87 Japanese yen from 113.56 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1365 from $1.1293.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

January 28, 2023
by Dan McCue
The Rise of the Contract Employee Screams Out for a Rethinking of Policy

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside,... Read More

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside, hoping the dark, early shadow of COVID-19 would somehow pass us by.  According to Liz Wilke, principle economist with Gusto, a payroll, benefits and HR platform... Read More

January 27, 2023
by Dan McCue
‘Resilient Communities’ Breakfast Jumpstarts Conversation on the Modern Economy

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed... Read More

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed the early morning crowd gathered to hear her and other speakers at Charlie Palmer Steak. “It’s seldom, at least in my experience, that you get a... Read More

As US Nears Debt Limit, Political Frictions Raising Alarms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The countdown toward a possible U.S. government default is in the offing — with frictions between President Joe Biden... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The countdown toward a possible U.S. government default is in the offing — with frictions between President Joe Biden and House Republicans raising alarms about whether the U.S. can sidestep a potential economic crisis. The Treasury Department projects that the federal government will on Thursday reach its... Read More

Elon Musk Depicted as Liar, Visionary in Tesla Tweet Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular... Read More

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular people" or a well-intentioned visionary as attorneys delivered opening statements at a trial focused on a Tesla buyout that never happened. Lawyers on opposing sides drew... Read More

Job Cuts in Tech Sector Spread, Microsoft Lays Off 10,000

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era... Read More

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era expansions. The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the layoffs were a response to “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities.” The company said it... Read More

At Davos, UN Chief Warns the World Is in a 'Sorry State'

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The world is in a “sorry state" because of myriad interlinked challenges including climate change and... Read More

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The world is in a “sorry state" because of myriad interlinked challenges including climate change and Russia's war in Ukraine that are “piling up like cars in a chain reaction crash,” the U.N. chief said at the World Economic Forum's meeting Wednesday. U.N. Secretary-General... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top