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Sunday, January 23, 2022
Stocks & Shares

Asia stocks follow Wall Street up as Omicron worries subside

Omicron

Shanghai and Shenzhen were up in mainland China; Jakarta, Singapore, and Seoul were all also somewhat higher

Asia stocks rose broadly in early Thursday trade, following another strong lead from Wall Street as anxieties over the Omicron coronavirus type subsided.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was up 1.02 percent, while Tokyo dropped into negative territory.

Investors are bullish about the outlook in the run-up to Christmas after a rollercoaster ride when Omicron initially emerged last month.

BioNTech and Pfizer have indicated that a third dose of their vaccine is necessary to protect against the new strain, and that two doses will leave Omicron ‘insufficiently neutralized.’

According to Patrick J. O’Hare of Briefing.com, the new information regarding the variant is expected to refocus the market’s attention on the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy move.

After all, if Omicron isn’t the destructive force some speculated it might be, economic activity should continue to recover at a decent pace, indicating that the Fed’s policy rate shouldn’t be stuck at the zero bound for much longer, he said.

Investors will be watching Friday’s US consumer price index (CPI) data as the Federal Reserve prepares for a policy meeting next week. The central bank has expressed concern about rising inflation, which could lead to several rate hikes next year.

We’re expecting to maybe see a surge in volatility even if the market continues higher around those events next week, portfolio strategist at Optimal Capital, Frances Stacy said on Bloomberg Television.

Many of the catalysts that propelled Covid’s growth are slowing. Then there’s the possibility of the Fed tapering into a slowing economy.

Shanghai and Shenzhen were up in mainland China.

Jakarta, Singapore, and Seoul were all somewhat higher, while Wellington was marginally down.

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