Reports of milder Omicron symptoms reassure investors

12/06/2021 | 05:33am

Oil stocks and drugmakers helped the FTSE 100 to rise this morning. It gained 0.8% to 7184. Investors also welcomed a paper from the South African Medical Research Council that indicates that omicron symptoms were milder than previous variants, and that hospitalized patients mainly had comorbidities.

Although many scientists believe it is too early to draw any conclusions on the severity of Omicron, markets chose to see the bright side and are rising across Europe.

Meanwhile, after Saudi Arabia raised its crude prices, BP and Royal Dutch Shell gained more than 1%. AstraZeneca is also among the best performers.

However, sentiment was mitigated by new data from the Confederation of British industry, which suggests that Britain's economy may grow more slowly than expected this year and in 2023 due to global supply chain problems.

This week, all eyes will be on Friday's U.S. consumer price report, which could lead the Federal Reserve to reduce bond purchases faster.

Meanwhile, Berenberg believes that a December rate hike is likely in the U.K. at the BoE December 16 meeting, bar any Omicron surprise.


Things to ready today:

Data on Omicron’s severity is ‘encouraging’, says US health chief (Financial Times)

China is faltering, but the world is not feeling the effects (Financial Times)

Johnson Says U.K. Awaiting Advice on Omicron Risks Before Review (Bloomberg)

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