US stockmarkets rallied as Omicron’s fears eased almost as quickly as they arrived.
Research shows the Omicron variant is more transmissible than Delta, yet symptoms may be mostly mild, and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine could provide effective protection against Omicron.
The ASX200 ended its four-week losing streak to rebound above 7400, reclaiming all the losses suffered after the ‘Black Friday’ Omicron wipe out.
Here is a review of the top five things that happened in markets this week.
1. End-of-year stockmarket rally under way?
This week’s strong rebound in the ASX200 sets the platform for a classic end-of-year stockmarket rally.
The ASX200 is still about 3 per cent below its all-time high at 7632, which means there is ample room for the rally to extend.
2. Crude oil steadied
Crude oil wasted no time taking back lost ground to be trading about 10 per cent higher near $72.50 – still well below the $85.41 high, it struck in late October.
3. RBA policy shift propels AUDUSD higher
As widely forecast, the RBA elected to keep interest rates on hold this week at 0.1 per cent and eased its dovish forward guidance.
The RBA’s gentle hawkish shift and the Chinese policy easing measures noted below, propelled the Australian dollar’s exchange rate with the US dollar back towards 72 cents.
4. China eases
Chinese authorities declared stabilising stalled economic growth as a priority for 2022.
Measures announced included a cut to the Reserve Ratio Requirement and a restructure of property developer Evergrande.
5. Cryptocurrencies continue to recover
In classic cryptocurrency style, leading cryptocurrencies have recovered a good portion of Saturday’s ‘flash crash’.
Ethereum, used in DeFI and NFTs, has recovered all its losses and more to be trading near $4400.
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