GLOBAL MARKETS-Investors cling to hope as omicron spreads, stocks rally

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Por Dhara Ranasinghe

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – An apparent calm returned to world markets on Monday as investors waited for more details to assess the severity of the omicron coronavirus variant on the global economy, allowing stocks and oil to drift. will recover.

* European stocks rose more than 1%, Wall Street futures pointed to a solid open, oil prices bounced more than $ 3 and bonds lost ground as markets clung to hopes that the new variant it would be smoother than initially feared.

* News of the variant sparked alarm and a sell-off on Friday, erasing about $ 2 trillion from global equity value as countries imposed new restrictions out of fear it could be vaccine resistant and hit a fledgling reopening. economic after two years of global pandemic.

* Ómicron has now been found as far away as Canada and Australia. The World Health Organization said Monday that the variant poses a very high risk of sudden increases in infections.

* Investors, however, were comforted by signs that its impact may not be as severe as feared. In southern Africa, where the strain was detected last week, a leading infectious disease expert said existing COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalizations.

* S&P 500 futures were up 0.85% and Nasdaq 1%. Both suffered their biggest drop in months on Friday, with travel and airline stocks hit hard.

* Europe’s STOXX 600 Index rebounded 1%, having suffered its biggest daily decline since June 2020 on Friday. MSCI’s broader Asia-Pacific equity index outside of Japan fell 0.4%, but found support before its 2021 low.

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* The Japanese Nikkei fell 1.6%, after the country decided to prohibit the entry of foreigners to avoid the omicron strain.

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