Asia-Pacific stocks started trading week at a low level. Consequently, the decline caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant on Friday was prolonged. However, the markets showed recovery in the mid-morning, indicating that the virus strain was only a mild symptom.
Japan and Australia saw the most significant drop in the region on Monday. Shares in early trading fell sharply before losses were reversed. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 dropped about 1.4 percent in the first minutes of trading; Before returning to the ground and falling 0.6 percent by mid-morning.
Japan’s Topix fell 1.5 percent when it opened; however, the loss was reduced to about 1.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1 percent. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index dipped 0.7 percent. On Friday, global stocks experienced the most significant sales in more than a year. Countries worldwide have announced travel bans and restraint measures to combat the spread of the new option.
Scientists believe that Omicron may be more contagious than the Delta variant. The new virus carries mutations that could make it resistant to vaccines. Barry Schoub, the physician who discovered the Omicron variant, noted that most patients infected with the strain report only mild cases. The World Health Organization has issued a warning that it is not yet clear whether the severity or extent of Omicron differs from previous strains.
Oil showed signs of recovery after Friday’s drop. West Texas Intermediate prices have risen more than $70 a barrel. In South Africa, the rand rose more than 1 percent against the dollar and fell sharply on Friday. The blow to the airline shares is already noticeable. Australia’s Qantas drop 6.2 percent before recovering. AirAsia fell 6.7 percent. Cathay Pacific lost nearly 5 percent.
According to macroeconomic strategist Sebastien Galy, the Omicron option will make investors more risk-averse. Companies in the leisure and travel industry will likely suffer the most. A potential spread in China could even damage global supply chains. According to Galy, the impact is more comprehensive than expected.
US benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yields gained five basis points, up about 1.54 percent; The most significant drop since Friday 2020 has been maintained. Shares of Wynn Macau fell 14 percent. Shares of Galaxy Entertainment fell 8.8 percent. Suncity suspended trading in its shares in Hong Kong on Monday morning.
The Meituan took a blow after the Chinese e-commerce class announced a fall in third-quarter impact on Friday. Shares in Hong Kong fell 8.8 percent on Monday. Stocks of Evergrande fell 9.2 percent; It was reported last week that the chairman, Hui Ka Yan, had sold the stocks.
Japan Decision – Omicron Impact and Stocks
Japan has illegal offshore nationals from coming to the country. Fumio Kishida, the prime minister, announced the decision on Monday, which will take effect at midnight on Tuesday. He said the virus could spread worldwide, so the country continues to step up its measures.
The new ban will include interns and workers, international students moving to Japan. In the wake of the relaxation announced three weeks ago, vaccinated business travelers could visit Japan with a three-day quarantine.
Japanese citizens returning from South Africa or other countries who have Omicron cases will have to go through quarantine. Traders in Tokyo said that despite the negative news, the Tokyo morning session was relatively positive. However, new Japanese sanctions have drastically reduced stocks that previously traded in the tourism market in anticipation of a gradual return.
Shares of Japan Air Terminals and several major rail companies fell sharply. The head of CLSA’s executive service, Takeo Kamai, noted that the Tokyo market would trade conservatively at such times.
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