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Omicron uncertainty pervades Asian stocks closed mixed

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(Agence France-Presse, Hong Kong, 2nd) Asian stock market traders are still working hard today to regain the recent downtrend caused by the new COVID-19 mutant Omicron, but the United States yesterday notified the country’s first case of Omicron diagnosis, which caused US stocks to tumble in late trading. Under the circumstance of sex, Asian stocks closed mixed.

It was reported in the United States that a COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) patient was infected with the Omicron mutant strain, which caused a panic among American investors, fearing that the authorities would be forced to restore strict epidemic prevention restrictions or even lock down the city, resulting in damage to the world’s largest economy. The recovery progress was disrupted.

Prior to this, the market has generally believed that the Federal Reserve Board (Fed) will end financial support measures for large-scale bond purchases earlier than expected, and will begin to raise interest rates next year, in case the current 30-year high is reached. Inflation may get out of control.

Congestion in the supply chain, rising energy prices and labor shortages have caused prices to rise all over the world. Investors have been anxious and uneasy in recent weeks. In addition, the news of the discovery of Omicron and the warning that the vaccine was not effective enough to fight against this virus strain caused market panic on November 26.

Experts say that it will take several weeks to fully understand how dangerous Omicron is. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the vaccine is likely to be sufficient to withstand the worst-case scenario of this mutant virus strain. Australia’s chief medical officer also hinted that Omicron may not be as lethal as other variants.

Nevertheless, the market remains highly sensitive to any negative news about the Omicron crisis. The Chicago Option Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), known as the “panic index” of the US stock market, reached its highest point since early February.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) composed of the world’s major industrialized countries also warned that Omicron poses a threat to the global economic recovery, and therefore lowered its growth outlook forecast for this year.

The anxiety in the trading floor of the New York stock market was obvious yesterday. After the U.S. announced the occurrence of Omicron cases in the country, the three major Wall Street stock indexes reversed the trend in most of the trading day, and joined hands to turn the black market.

The Tokyo stock market closed down 0.7% today, the Shanghai stock market also closed down 0.1%, and the Sydney, Singapore and Wellington stock markets also closed in black.

However, the Hong Kong stock market closed up 0.6%, and the Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and Mumbai stock markets also all closed higher. (Translator: Zhang Zhengqian/Verified Draft: Chen Zhengyi)

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