Wall Street’s major averages fell more than 1% on Wednesday after a morning rally faded as investor angst about the latest coronavirus variant soared with the first U.S. case confirmation while the market also digested Fed comments on inflation. Earlier on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said policymakers needed to be ready to respond to the possibility inflation may not recede in the second half of next year as expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 461.68 points, or 1.34%, the S&P 500 lost 1.18%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.83%,

European shares posted their best session in almost six months on Wednesday, as investors picked up beaten down stocks that were hammered in the past few sessions by fears of the spread of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus. The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 1.7%, recovering from a sharp sell-off in the previous session that had sent it to a seven-week low. Germany stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Technology, Insurance and Industrials sectors led shares higher. At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX gained 2.47%, while the MDAX index climbed 1.29%, and the TecDAX index added 0.99%. France stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Foods & Drugs, Gas & Water and General Financial sectors led shares higher. At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 gained 2.39%, while the SBF 120 index added 2.17%.

Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Thursday morning, with U.S. equivalents reversing a recent rally. Concerns about the risks posed by the new omicron COVID-19 variant continue to mount. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.65% while South Korea’s KOSPI rose 1.59%. In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.15%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.55%. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.085% while the Shenzhen Component edged down 0.20%.

The Russian stock market closed the first trading in December with the growth of the Moscow Exchange and RTS indices by 1.77 and 2.51%, respectively, against the backdrop of a global correction of stock markets and a rebound in oil.

Oil prices rose on Thursday, recouping the previous day’s losses, as investors adjusted positions ahead of an OPEC+ decision over supply policy, but gains were capped amid fears the Omicron coronavirus variant will hurt fuel demand. Brent crude futures rose 85 cents, or 1.2%, to $69.72 by 0402 GMT, having eased 0.5% in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 85 cents, or 1.3%, to $66.42 a barrel, after a 0.9% drop on Wednesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together known as OPEC+, will likely decide on Thursday whether to release more oil into the market as previously planned or restrain supply. U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk said President Joe Biden’s administration could adjust the timing of its planned release of strategic crude oil stockpiles if global energy prices drop substantially.