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European Stock Futures Lower; Omicron Concerns Grow With U.S. Case

Stock MarketsDec 02, 2021 01:58AM ET
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© Reuters

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open lower Thursday as investors fret about the spread of the omicron Covid variant and the associated economic damage.

At 2 AM ET (0700 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.7% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.9% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.7%.

The major European indices rebounded Wednesday despite concerns about the Covid variant as well as the Federal Reserve hinting at an early departure of its accommodative monetary policy.

However, the tone has quickly turned negative with the news that the United States became on Wednesday the latest country to identify a case within its borders. 

The World Health Organisation stated that at least 23 countries from five of six regions have reported cases of omicron, “and we expect that number to grow.” 

The UN agency expects to have more information on the transmissibility of the new variant of the coronavirus within days, but noted that hospitalizations were rising across South Africa, where the new variant was first discovered, and omicron is rapidly becoming the dominant variant there.

In corporate news, Swiss drugmaker Novartis (SIX:NOVN) said earlier Thursday that it’s confident of growing sales by 4% each year until 2026, as it had up to 20 products in its approval pipeline that had the potential to generate at least $1 billion in sales.

Economic data releases later Thursday include the Eurozone unemployment rate and producer prices for October.

Crude prices traded higher Thursday, recovering from the three-months lows hit during the previous session, as traders adjusted their positions ahead of the OPEC+ meeting to decide future output levels. 

Expectations are growing that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, will pause plans to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in January.

This follows the announcement of the first case of the omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus in the United States, while U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk said the U.S. could adjust the timing of its planned release of strategic crude oil stockpiles if global energy prices dropped substantially.

Capping the gains was news from the Energy Information Administration of a smaller than expected draw from U.S. crude inventories of 910,000 barrels last week.

By 2 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% higher at $66.45 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.3% to $69.78.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,778.90/oz, while EUR/USD traded largely flat at 1.1322.

 

European Stock Futures Lower; Omicron Concerns Grow With U.S. Case
 

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Comments (7)
Wooohooo TT
Wooohooo TT Dec 02, 2021 3:24AM ET
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Europe has many cases days ago, why panic because of first case in US?
William Bailey
William Bailey Dec 02, 2021 3:19AM ET
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Just trash . Nobody cares about the case of covid and the guy is barely sick
Lawrence Montgomery
Lawrence Montgomery Dec 02, 2021 3:18AM ET
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just a manipulation of people at the top of the pyramid. you'll be peasants and be happy. welcome back to pre colonial Era.
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Dec 02, 2021 3:11AM ET
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Hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. and the media is freaked out about one case of the sniffles? Give your head a shake..
Randall Paul
Randall Paul Dec 02, 2021 2:46AM ET
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ridiculous. now I'm bored with it all
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Dec 02, 2021 2:34AM ET
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the gamblers are in panic up,down,up,down. Get'em, Omi!
Martijn WN
Speculeerbeer Dec 02, 2021 2:20AM ET
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So let me get this straight. Everyone knew that the spread of this new variant was going to happen. We all knew that there must have been infections in America already and that it was a matter of time before one would be detected. Then one case is detected on American soil, and we are all supposed to panic? We haven't seen any evidence so far that this variant is more dangerous. The reaction of the market to this variant is absolutely ridiculous.
 
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