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Asian stocks mixed as omicron concerns damaged optimism

Asian stocks appeared mixed Tuesday. It resulted from concerns over the potential effect of omicron that drained optimism.

In morning trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 bounced nearly 1.1% to 28,960.32. South Korea’s Kospi acquired 0.2% to 3,002.73. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2% to 23,201.43, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.3% to 3,610.33.

Like other countries in Asia, Japan has yet to see a new wave of new omicron cases. It happens because many areas are full of buyers. There are many events that produce new cases of infection even though most people wear masks. New daily cases in the country totaled about 250 lately. There have been relatively few deaths so far. But, analysts alerted uncertainties lie ahead.

Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank said that record rallies seem too optimistic. He was pointing to vast numbers of new cases in the U.S. and Europe.

Overview of stocks

On Monday, tech companies guided U.S. stocks broadly higher, raising the market’s recent rally and encouraging the S&P 500 to one more all-time high. Wall Street started the final week for the stock market with mostly damped trading as investors returned from the Christmas holiday and some overseas markets stayed closed. The S&P 500 advanced 1.5% to 4,791.18 as its fourth straight gain. The benchmark index, which limited a holiday-shortened week with a record high, is about to close out the year with a 27.7% gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.1% to 36,302.39, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq increased 1.5% to 15,871.27.

Last week, the major indexes broadcasted weekly gains as worries started to decrease about the possible impact of the omicron variant. However, much is still uncertain about this variant, which spreads quickly and creates an environment to return to pandemic restrictions in some places. Small-company stocks also advanced. The Russell 2000 index earned 0.8%, to 2,261.47. This week analysts expect trading to be quiet but volatile as the omicron variant continues to spread fast in the U.S. and overseas.

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