Markets hold steady amid thin trading

A rebound in stocks moderated on Wednesday, while U.S. futures drifted lower amid uncertainty over the omicron virus strain’s economic impact and a foggy outlook for U.S. fiscal stimulus. Treasury yields held steady with yield on 10-year Treasuries a little unchanged at 1.47%, gains while contracts on the S&P 500 (fell 0.3%) and the Nasdaq 100 (fell 0.5%) were lower after rebounding Tuesday from a recent slump.

Gains in tech and food shares offset declines in cyclical sectors in Europe even as worries persisted about the outlook for global recovery amid an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. The pan-European STOXX 600 climbed 0.1% as of 8:21AM GMT after jumping 1.4% to its best day in two weeks in the previous session. Germany is set to introduce new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 before New Year’s Eve, including limiting private gatherings for vaccinated people to a maximum of 10 people.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 50 cents, or 0.7%, to $71.62 a barrel at 0235 GMT after jumping 3.7% on Tuesday. Brent crude futures rose 44 cents, or 0.6%, to $74.42 a barrel after gaining 3.4% on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.7%, to $71.62/bbl at 0235 GMT after jumping 3.7% on Tuesday. Brent crude futures rose 0.6%, to $74.42/bbl after gaining 3.4% on Tuesday.

Ethiopian government forces have made major advances in their fight against Tigrayan dissidents after a 13-month conflict that’s triggered humanitarian and economic crises. Tigrayan leader Debretsion Gebremichael this week ordered a strategic retreat by his troops and urged the United Nations Security Council to oversee an end to the civil war. The move, which comes after the national army recaptured several key towns in northern regions bordering on Tigray, raised hopes that an end to hostilities may be in sight, although the government has continued bombing rebel positions. Meanwhile, yield on $1 billion of 2024 debt drops to 23.28% from 23.70% on Monday, biggest decline since Dec. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.