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Japan stocks set for lower start as omicron variant fears continue to weigh on market sentiment

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan looked set to fall at the Thursday open, as concerns over the economic impact of the omicron Covid variant continues to weigh on investor sentiment.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,590 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,560. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,935.62.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell about 0.55% in morning trade. Australia’s retail sales and trade data for October is set to be out at 8:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.

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Stocks on Wall Street saw a sharp reversal overnight after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of omicron in the U.S.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 461.68 points to 34,022.04 while the S&P 500 declined 1.18% to 4,513.04. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.83% to 15,254.05.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.028 after briefly spiking above 96.5 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 112.89 per dollar, still stronger than levels above 113.4 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7106 after recently dropping from above $0.715.


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