Wall Street’s main indexes posted solid gains for a third straight session on Thursday, with the S&P 500 marking a record-high close, as encouraging developments gave investors more ease about the economic impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Stocks ended the holiday-shortened week on a positive note, lifting sentiment heading into Christmas. Gains were broad among S&P 500 sectors, led by consumer discretionary and industrials, which both rose about 1.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.55%, the S&P 500 gained 0.62%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.85%.
European shares closed lower in light holiday trading on Friday, following a recent rally in global shares on signs the Omicron coronavirus variant may not derail global economic recovery. The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.1% to 483.01 in a shortened trading session ahead of Christmas. The benchmark has added 1.9% this week. London’s FTSE 100 closed flat, while France’s CAC 40 ended 0.3% lower. Stock markets in several countries including Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. are closed on Friday for Christmas.
Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Friday morning. Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Friday morning, steadying after U.S. counterparts hit a record high as concerns about the omicron COVID-19 variant’s impact on the global economic recovery continue to ebb. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was steady at 28,798.37 with data released earlier in the day showing that the national core consumer price index grew 0.5% year-on-year in November. South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.51% and in Australia, the ASX 200 gained 0.54%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 0.07%. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.36% and the Shenzhen Component was down 0.21%
The Russian stock market ended trading with a slight decline in the Moscow Exchange and RTS indices against the backdrop of a worsening external commodity situation. The Moscow Exchange index fell 0.05%. The RTSS index fell by 0.23%.
U.S. oil fell on Monday after airlines called off thousands of flights over the Christmas holidays amid surging COVID-19 cases, though Brent crude gained support from hopes that the Omicron variant will have limited impact on global demand. More than 1,300 flights were cancelled by U.S. airlines on Sunday as COVID-19 reduced the number of available crews while several cruise ships had to cancel stops. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 1.2%. The U.S. market was closed on Friday for a holiday. Global benchmark Brent crude rose 0.2%.