Omicron, unstoppable; Flurona arrives: 5 things to watch in the markets on Tuesday

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Omicron, unstoppable; Flurona arrives: 5 things to watch in the markets on Tuesday
Credit: © Reuters.

By Laura Sanchez

Investing.com - Markets start the year at record highs as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread uncontrollably.

Today there is a meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls for Christmas celebrations to be cancelled or delayed.

Cryptocurrencies are trading lower.

These are the five factors that investors should take into account when making their decisions today:

1. Omicron, soaring; cases of Flurona, influenza and Covid detected together

In just over a month, Omicron has become the predominant coronavirus variant worldwide. This week Israel confirmed a case of Flurona (Covid-19 and influenza together) in a pregnant woman. In Spain, several cases have already been detected.

2. PMI in Japan and China, better than expected

Early this morning we got the Japanese manufacturing PMI for December (54.3), one tenth of a percentage point higher than expected but two tenths of a percentage point lower than the previous month (54.5).

China's Caixin manufacturing PMI , also for December, was 50.9, nine tenths of a percentage point higher than estimated and also above the previous month's figure (49.9).

3. OPEC meeting

Investors will be paying close attention to the OPEC meeting today, with oil again at record highs. WTI crude is trading this morning at 76 dollars and Brent at 79 dollars.

4. Asia and the US stock market

The main Asian indices are mixed today. The Nikkei is up 1.7%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng is flat and the Shanghai Composite loses 0.2%.

On Wall Street, the market ended yesterday in green. The S&P 500 (0.6%), Nasdaq (1.2%) and Dow Jones (0.6%) closed higher.

5. Macro data

Key macroeconomic releases include Germany's retail sales and unemployment , France's CPI , UK manufacturing PMI , Spain's unemployment change and Portugal's consumer confidence .

In the US, the Redbook retail sales index and weekly API crude oil stocks will be released.

The South African markets closed in the green yesterday.

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