What you should know on Thursday, December 9:
The Omicron COVID strain has been getting a lot of bad press around the world, so the market isn’t very excited.
Reinvigorated geopolitical frictions between the U.S. and Iran, as well as possible problems between the U.S. and China, make people less willing to take risks, too.
A study conducted in Japan discovered that the new COVID-19 variant is 4.2 times more communicable in its early stages than Delta was.
Meanwhile, the UK added more restrictions to try to stop the spread of Omicron after a big rise in cases over the last few days. Boris Johnson was told to stay at home and show proof of vaccinations under the new plan, called Plan B.
If you get a third dose of your COVID vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, you may be cognizant of the omicron variant.
Markets also weigh in on renewed US-Iran tensions after Reuters confirmed, citing a US official, saying that the US and Israeli military chiefs are set to consider potential military drills to ready for a worst-case eventuality in which both countries’ governments seek the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The legislation to punish China for how it treats Uyghur Muslims in China’s far-western Xinjiang region was passed by the House of Representatives.
Stock Market And Major Exchanges
Asian stocks are a bit of a mess, but the rise in Chinese stocks has given them a boost. China’s stock market is happy about the central bank’s policy stimulus programs and a drop in factory prices. The S&P 500 futures are flat 0.15% on the day.
The relatively safe US Dollar is attempting to rise, but Treasury yields are clinging to the gains made in the last few days ahead of Friday’s important inflation data.
There was a big drop in EUR/USD when the pair hit 1.1350. Now, the pair is moving lower towards 1.1300 before the German trade data.
GBP/USD is trading stable above 1.3200, which is where it was when it bounced back from a new yearly drop of 1.3167.
The Omicron COVID worries and Brexit risks will keep hurting the British Pound, particularly as the latest COVID constraints push back the BOE rate hike expectations to early 2022, which will hurt the Pound even more.
AUD/USD is getting closer to 0.7200 after getting new bids near the mid-0.7150s, which is where it is now.
The USD/JPY is holding on to the lower slopes around 113.60 because the markets are slow and the yields have dropped.
There has been a rise in WTI prices, which is making the USD/CAD look like it’s going down. Following the news about the US and Iran, the price of oil in the US is going up.
The Bank of Canada (BOC) kept the key rate at 0.25%, but it warned that inflation was going to be too high, which sent the value of the Canadian Dollar up for a short time. It is now consolidating.
Gold is holding flat below the $1,792 threshold, waiting for the US weekly jobless claims report to see if there are any new reasons to buy.