Omicron Covid variant, bitcoin volatility monitored

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LONDON – European stocks are expected to open higher on Monday as investors continue to monitor developments around the omicron Covid variant and bitcoin volatility.

The UK’s FTSE index would open 56 points higher at 7,165, the German DAX by 136 points at 15,259, the French CAC 40 by 72 points at 6,815 and the Italian FTSE MIB by 199 points at 26,107, according to IG data.

European markets are poised for a positive start to the trading week, although the picture is more mixed globally.

Asia-Pacific stocks fell on Monday as investors watched bitcoin prices after falling sharply over the weekend. Meanwhile, oil prices surged at the start of trading in Asia, increasing by more than 2% in trading hours in Asia after falling mainly last week due to the uncertainty of Covid and the plan of the ‘OPEC + to increase production in January.

In the US, stock futures were higher even after losing week on Wall Street as investors ditched stocks amid concerns over the new omicron Covid variant and the Federal Reserve’s decision to tighten policy . At least 15 U.S. states have now detected the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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The massive sell-off of tech stocks last Friday spread to cryptocurrencies with bitcoin prices volatile throughout the weekend. Bitcoin traded around $ 57,000 on Friday morning, but fell to around $ 43,000 on Saturday. As of Sunday, the world’s largest cryptocurrency had recouped some of its losses, but it was still trading below the key $ 50,000 level; it is currently trading around $ 49,058.

Data released Monday in Europe includes German industrial orders in October, the eurozone sentix index for December and a first estimate of Greece’s gross domestic product in the third quarter.

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– CNBC’s Pippa Stevens and Weizhen Tan contributed to this market report.


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