Global markets stabilize as investors reconsider the unknowns of Omicron.

pictureNew York Stock Exchange on Friday, as stocks fell on initial news of a new variant of Covid-19 discovered in South Africa.
attributed to him…Richard Drew/The Associated Press

Global markets stabilized on Monday, with European stocks and oil prices rising and Wall Street futures rising, as investors pondered more carefully the known and unknown of the new Covid-19 variant.

Stocks on Wall Street and Europe fell hard on friday After initial news of the discovery of a new variant called Omicron in South Africa. The World Health Organization classified it asalternative to anxietyShares of companies in industries that have been recovering in recent months, such as airlines and other travel companies, took big hits as governments reimposed restrictions on movement across borders. Oil prices fell amid concerns about the economic losses of potential restrictions, while falling Government bond yields as investors flee to the relative safety of sovereign debt.

On Monday, with quick answers about the threat from the hard-to-get Omicron, investors appeared to be focusing on possibilities other than disaster. While the new alternative may be so More contagious and vaccine-resistant, it might be Proves to be less dangerous On the health of the vaccinated or previously infected. Scientists have not reached firm conclusions and it may take up to two weeks before the results of tests for current vaccines on a new alternative are available.

Kit Juckes, strategist at Société Générale, wrote in a note to clients. “It is against this backdrop that some of Friday’s madness has been reversed, but only part of it.”

Shares in Europe rose in early trading on Monday, with markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt gaining nearly 1 percent.

Futures markets had been expecting Wall Street to also open higher later on Monday. The S&P 500 fell 2.3 percent on Friday, the worst day since February.

In another sign of improving market sentiment, oil prices were moving higher early in the European trading day. The two major benchmarks, Brent and West Texas Intermediate, rose 4 to 5 percent. Government bond yields also rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rose 5 basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 1.53 percent. On Friday, the yield fell 16 basis points, the largest one-day drop since late March 2020.

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region fell broadly on Monday, offsetting some of Wall Street’s losses. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.6 percent on the day the government The country’s borders are closeds, just days after opening for short-term business travelers and international students. The Hong Kong market ended the day down 1 percent, at its lowest level in more than a year. Shares in airlines continued to slide, such as Cathay Pacific, which fell 3.6 percent, extending its decline of 4.1 percent on Friday.

attributed to him…Amir Cohen/Reuters

The discovery of the Omicron variant comes at a delicate moment for the airline industry that was just beginning to make a recovery.

The question is whether the new variant of the coronavirus will deter travelers, as the Delta variant did this summer.

several countries, Including the United StatesVisitors from South Africa and a few neighboring countries are banned. Japan, Morocco and Israel banned all incoming foreign visitors, while the Philippines banned visitors from South Africa and several European countries.

The recovery of international travel has been slower than in the United States. President Biden’s decision to ease long-standing restrictions on foreign travelers this month promised to spur that recovery. It is not yet clear how the Omicron variant will affect or if it will affect travel demand, but if travel bans proliferate and concerns about the variant continue to spread, hopes for an accelerated international recovery could once again fade.

Only two US carriers, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, fly from South Africa. Both said they do not yet plan to adjust their schedules in response to the administration’s ban, which takes effect Monday and does not apply to US citizens or lawful permanent residents. Delta operates three weekly flights between Atlanta and Johannesburg. United operates five flights a week between Newark and Johannesburg, and has not changed its plans to resume flights between Newark and Cape Town on Wednesday. None of the countries that have announced new travel restrictions are major sources of business for US airlines.

No major US airline has announced any material changes to procedures due to the alternative. All passengers traveling to the US must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test, with non-citizens also required to be fully vaccinated.

Within the United States, air travel has almost recovered, even as many companies remain concerned about sending employees on business trips. The number of people screened at airport security checkpoints over the past week was down just 10 percent from the same week in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration. and industry Successfully survived the crush of travelers, to avoid disruptions that have persisted in some airlines for several days in recent months.

attributed to him…Anna Limenovic for The New York Times

Hoping to alleviate long queues at gas stations, empty shelves in grocery stores and Christmas without mince pies, the UK’s Department for Transport began recruiting overseas truck drivers in October.

Official numbers have not been released, but in mid-October, Tory co-chair Oliver Dowden said on a radio show that a “relatively limited” number of applications had been received, with just over 20 being approved.

So, rather than being an immediate relief, the visa offer has become an unofficial barometer of Britain’s attractiveness after Brexit, the late pandemic, David Segal reports For The New York Times.

Some drivers who have worked in Britain said the country has become more xenophobic since Brexit, which took effect in January 2020. The UK Independence Party has loudly defended the campaign to leave the European Union, whose leader Nigel Farage has pushed for a law It guarantees ‘British jobs for British workers’. In 2013, he warned of a “Romanian crime wave”.

The British government estimates it needs 100,000 additional drivers. This raises the question of why the DOT only provides 5,000 temporary visas. In Parliament, politicians from opposition parties emphasized that the low figure reflected the contradiction in the Conservative government. Read the article →

Solar panels and electric car batteries rely on cobalt, a mineral that is abundant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and rare elsewhere. The United States has long recognized the central African country’s strategic importance, but recent administrations have done little to preserve relations, leaving China to step in.

New York Times Investigation, “The Race to the Future” Examines the global demand for raw materials as the clean energy revolution takes off. Places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which produces two-thirds of the world’s supply of cobalt, are interfering with the kinds of roles once played by Saudi Arabia and the oil-rich nations. The race to secure supplies could have far-reaching implications for the common goal of protecting the planet.

Read the investigation:

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