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LGT Navigator: Omicron worries put the brakes on stock market recovery

December 22, 2021

On stock markets, the tension of the last few days eased somewhat again on Tuesday and the stock indices in Europe and the US posted gains. In Asia, however, the momentum already seems to have been lost again and the uncertainties regarding the Omicron variant is causing continued nervousness worldwide and renewed travel restrictions and even lockdowns in some countries.

Omicron worries put the brakes on stock market recovery

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial gained about one and a half percent after a weak start to the week, and the broad S&P 500 also posted solid gains. Demand was even stronger on the Nasdaq technology exchange where the indices rose by more than two percent yesterday. Support was provided by news that US President Joe Biden would try to change the mind of Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who opposes the president's climate and social package. In Asia's stock markets, the momentum was lost again, and most indices could not benefit from the positive guidance from overseas and trended sideways.

US President Biden rules out lockdowns

Washington promises in the fight against the pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 800'000 lives in the US, to expand vaccination facilities and testing capacities, and to provide additional military medical personnel to the often-overburdened hospitals. In addition, half a billion free corona self-tests are to be given to private households starting in January. Biden ruled out new lockdowns. According to the US health authority CDC, the Omicron variant is already dominant in the US. The vaccination rate in the US to date is only 61.5%.

Gloomy Christmas consumer mood in Germany

According to the latest survey results from the Nuremberg-based consumer research company GfK, the mood of German consumers cooled significantly towards the end of the year against the backdrop of the renewed wave of the pandemic and inflationary pressure. Both the economic outlook and income expectations, as well as propensity to buy, deteriorated. GfK commented that the outlook for consumption is primarily dependent on the further course of the pandemic.

Consumer sentiment in the eurozone also deteriorated significantly in December. The indicator issued monthly by the EU Commission dropped by 1.5 points to minus 8.3 points.

US government tightens CO2 standards for cars

US President Joe Biden is stepping up the fight against climate change. Thus, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced to impose stricter limits on CO2 emissions from cars of model years 2023 to 2026. These are the most ambitious emission standards for greenhouse gases in the history of the USA. This could save more than three billion tons of greenhouse gases by 2050.

Economic Indicators December 22

MEZ Country Indicator Last period
08:00 UK GDP Q3 (q/q) +1.3%
14:30 US GDP Q3 (q/q, annualized) +2.1%
14:30 US Fed Chicago Activity Index (November) +0.76
16:00 US Existing Home Sales (November, m/m) +0.8%


Earnings Calender December 22

Country Company Period
GE Douglas Q4
CAN Blackberry Q3


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Source: LGT Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.

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