The first comments from experts indicate that the virus has many mutations on its spike protein, which could render vaccines less efficient. Omicron also looks more transmissible. Some South African reports mention mild to moderate symptoms, but it's too early to tell, and the WHO said “there is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants”
The impact of the economy is also uncertain: “The experience with the pandemic so far suggests that near-term setbacks to economic performance do not dampen the longer-term outlook for inflation”, says Berenberg, adding: “As we have argued since mid-March 2020, the pandemic does not justify a dramatic and lasting re-rating of the value of the productive capacity of major economies as expressed in the overall levels of equity prices. In short: we do not see Omicron as a reason for a sustained bear market.”
Today, BT shares jumped 7% on a report from the Economic Times that India's Reliance industries could be eyeing a purchase.
Things to read today:
Omicron Can Boost Equities If Symptoms Are Mild, Ackman Says (Bloomberg)
Omicron Variant Resurrects the Risk of US Stagflation (Bloomberg)
Investors rush into private markets in search of returns (Financial Times)