Nov 29 – A look at the day ahead from Danilo Masoni.
Sell first, get answers later. With stocks near lifetime peaks, the Black Friday reaction to the new fast-spreading virus strain Omicron was hardly surprising.
But a weekend later, investors look heavily engaged in buying the dip, as markets take a more balanced view of risks attached to what the WHO called a “variant of concern”.
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After their ninth biggest drop ever on Friday, gains in crude prices topped 5% earlier in Asia and stock futures point to a solid bounce across Europe and America.
A South African doctor said patients with Omicron have “very mild” symptoms and investment houses don’t look to have budged that much. Credit Suisse, for example, made no portfolio changes, staying slight overweight on equities.
Perhaps more telling is that retail traders poured north of $2 billion into U.S. stocks on Friday, setting the second biggest daily inflow on record, per Vanda Research data.
Of course there are uncertainties and that will likely make for volatile days heading into the Christmas shopping season.
Understanding the level of severity of the variant “will take days to several weeks”, said WHO. And vaccine maker BioNTech needs up to two weeks to figure out whether the shot it makes with Pfizer needs to be reworked. read more
So while Omicron has spread from Australia to the Netherlands and governments ban travel and mull lockdowns, markets may also gamble on central bankers turning more patient in their path towards rates normalisation.
Lots of speakers from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are lined up for today. On Sunday, speaking about risks to the recovery, ECB’s Lagarde said: “We now know our enemy and what measures to take.”
Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Monday:
Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.comRegisterECB speakers: Governor Lagarde, ECB board members Andrea Enria, Isabel Schnabel, Pentti Hakkarainen; ECB Vice President Luis de GuindosEuro zone consumer sentiment/inflation expectationsGerman preliminary CPI/HICPFed speakers: Chairman Jerome Powell, New York President John Williams, Governor BowmanEmerging markets: Kenya central bank meets; Turkey trade balance and bank NPL ratiosReporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Saikat Chatterjee
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