December 1, 2022

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On Wednesday, global shares changed little and oil prices rose, as a surge of new coronavirus cases and weak retail sales in the U.S. dampened, but it did not fully extinguish the euphoria brought on by the recent breakthroughs in the COVID-19 vaccine. At 0823 GMT, the MSCI world index remained flat, and it was just little off from the record high of the previous session. European shares also had a low start, as there was a 0.1% fall in the STOXX 600 index, which tracked overnight weakness in Japan as rising coronavirus causes in the region caused the Nikkei 225 to slip by 1.1%. 

The picture remained rather mix elsewhere in Asia. There was a 0.6% jump in the MSCI’s broadest gauge of regional shares, as they climbed by 0.6%. This was mostly as a result of the better handling of the global pandemic in most of the region, along with the possibility of additional stimulus in China. The disappointing sales data and the surge in COVID-19 cases prompted U.S. stocks to fall overnight, but they were expected stay stable on Wednesday at the Wall Street open, with the S&P 500 futures remaining flat. Analysts said that the overall picture was certainly brighter for the analysts, but the recovery was expected to be uneven.

They said that low inventories and the demand for manufacturing and distributing goods would help in driving the economy forward, and the second phase would be powerful if consumer demand was to reemerge. Other risk markets were also a reflection of the overall market caution, as U.S. crude futures climbed only by 0.1%. Brent crude futures, on the other hand, jumped by 0.4%. As far as the European debt markets are concerned, Germany saw a decline in its benchmark 10-year government bond yield after Pfizer Inc.’s announcement of a potential coronavirus vaccine a week and a half ago. 

Analysts said that yields were falling with more warning signs flashing out the short-term outlook. In the case of Euro zone, all eyes are set on quantitative easing, so they have shrugged off EU setbacks and volatility. The US Commerce Department released the retail sales report, which showed that spending had decreased with the approaching holiday shopping season, as there was no fiscal relief hopes from Washington. Investors were also affected by a skittish mood, as a number of states in the US began restricting gatherings of people and mandated wearing masks and face-coverings, after more than 70,000 people were hospitalized because of the coronavirus.

This increase in COVID-19 cases comes, as investors have hailed two positive vaccine clinical trial results that were disclosed earlier this month. Analysts said that after having two solid weeks, it wasn’t that bad to see the market fall by half a percent, especially with the prospect of new lockdowns. Jerome Powell, the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman noted that the current surge in the COVID-19 cases was quite concerning, which means that the economy would require both monetary and fiscal policy support.  

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