US stocks gain despite pandemic concerns

Stocks drifted higher even as the WHO threw some cold water on Covid complacency, saying that while cases tied to the omicron variant appear milder than other variants it will take weeks to be certain. The S&P 500 gained 0.31% to 4701.21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.10% falling to 35754.75 while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.64% at 15786.99. Treasuries curve ended Wednesday sharply steeper after long-end yields cheapened into 10-year note auction and ahead of 30-year supply Thursday.

European equities dropped amid concerns that new Covid-19 restrictions will hurt growth, outweighing optimism over the efficacy of vaccines against the omicron variant. Stoxx 600 Europe Index lost 0.59% on Thursday, DAX declined by 0.80%, and CAC 40 dropped 0.72%, while FTSE 100 was down 0.04%. Yields rose across the German sovereign yield curve in Wednesday afternoon trading.

China’s stocks rallied for a third day as investors continued to cheer policymakers’ efforts to shore up the economy, with moderating factory inflation providing further room for easing.

Oil prices steadied above $75 a barrel in choppy trade on Wednesday, taking a breather after strong gains earlier this week, as investors assessed the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the global economy and fuel demand. Brent crude futures closed at $75.82 a barrel on Thursday, up 0.50%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures stood at $72.36, up 0.43%.