Global equity markets were down 0.3% last week (down 2.5% in the prior week) amid uncertainties from the emergence of Omicron and the U.S. Fed’s hawkish remarks last week.
Although Omicron has now spread to 47 countries globally, preliminary indications suggest that this highly mutated variant is less dangerous than Delta. South Africa is experiencing a spike in daily new cases, but the number of daily deaths remain flat.
Metal prices retreated as well even though inventory levels of base metals declined both on the LME, and the SHFE (Shanghai).
Last week, both the U.S. and Canada reported positive jobs data. Unemployment levels are reaching pre-pandemic levels. Typically, strong economic data are catalysts for equity markets. However, in the current environment, strong economic data is negative for equity markets as central banks will be prompted to raise rates sooner.
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