European Shares May See Deep Cuts As Omicron Worries Mount

European stocks are likely to open deep in the red on Monday as Omicron worries mount.

European countries are tightening restrictions, with the spread of Omicron seeing the Netherlands go into lockdown on Sunday.

Britain’s Health Secretary has refused to rule out imposing tougher Covid-19 restrictions before Christmas as virus cases surge to record levels.

Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert, said that this virus is really unpredictable.

President Biden is expected to speak Tuesday on the status of the fight against Covid-19 and discuss government help for communities that need it.

Covid-19 cases of the new variant are doubling every 1.5 to three days in places with community transmission, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

Asian stocks were broadly lower despite China cutting its lending benchmark loan prime rate (LPR) for the first time in 20 months.

The U.S. dollar hovered near the highest since July of last year against major peers after a Federal Reserve official signaled a first pandemic-era interest rate hike could come as early as March.

Gold held near a three-week high on Omicron jitters, while oil prices fell around 3 percent on worries that the new Covid-19 variant would crimp demand for fuel.

There are no major stats from the Eurozone or the U.S today. Investors will pour over U.S. reports on consumer confidence, personal income and spending, durable goods orders and new and existing home sales as the week progresses.

U.S. stocks fluctuated before ending lower on Friday due to “quadruple witching” day, an event where stock options, index options, stock futures and index futures all expire.

Concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus along with worries about ongoing supply chain issues also weighed.

The Dow tumbled 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 shed 1 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished marginally lower.

European stocks ended Friday’s session broadly lower amid concerns over rising Omicron variant of the coronavirus in several countries, surging inflation and the prospect of higher interest rates.

The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.6 percent. The German DAX dropped 0.7 percent and France’s CAC 40 index gave up 1.1 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 percent.