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Title: European shares drop as Omicron keeps markets volatile

Dec 02, 2021 07:48AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

European stock indices fell on Thursday, erasing gains from the previous session as a lack of information about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus made markets choppy, but Wall Street futures pointed to a slightly stronger opening in the US.

Markets first fell on Friday last week on fears about the Omicron variant and have fluctuated since as investors weighed the potential impact of countries imposing new travel restrictions amid signs that the new variant may be more contagious than previous variants.

On Wednesday, US stocks initially rallied but then fell after the first Omicron case in the United States was confirmed.

The key data financial backers are hanging tight for is whether the spread of the infection will prompt additional hospitalizations and remarks from antibody creators on how well their immunizations are neutralizing the variation.

The MSCI World Stock Index, which tracks shares in 50 countries, was down 0.2 percent at 1215 GMT, its lowest level in 18 days.

Europe's Stoxx 600 fell 1.5 percent, eradicating a large portion of the additions from its assembly in the past meeting as Europe switched Wall Street's new slide.

Money Street prospects, nonetheless, highlighted some recuperation later in the meeting, with S and P 500 e-minis up 0.4% and Nasdaq fates up 0.1%.

Further weighing on equity markets and flattening the US yield curve were comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said he would consider a faster end to the Fed's bond-buying program, which could pave the way for earlier rate hikes.

On the second day of his hearing before Congress on Wednesday, Powell reiterated that the Fed must be prepared to respond to the possibility that inflation will not decline in the second half of next year.

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