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Weekly news summary for November 26 to December 2

Friday, Nov. 26: Dow Loses 900 Points on Fears of New COVID Variant

The US major indices ended Friday’s session in the red, with the Dow and S&P 500 posting their largest one-day percentage declines in months, while pandemic-affected areas that climbed from a reopening took a steep fall following the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant.

The Dow shed 905.04 points or 2.53%, the S&P 500 index lost 106.84 points or 2.27%, and Nasdaq Composite slipped by 353.57 points or 2.23%, while the retail sector dropped 2.04% as Black Friday started the holiday shopping season with fears that the new variant will limit store traffic and supply.

Monday, Nov. 29: Omicron Crypto Hits All-time High, Rises Over 900%

A relatively unknown cryptocurrency, dubbed Omicron (OMIC), rose to an all-time high on Monday after the new COVID-19 variant received the same name.

Omicron’s OMIC token posted an all-time high of $689 on Monday morning in Asia, with the increase providing another 200% growth on the day and a massive 945% surge since Saturday when it traded around $65.

Tuesday, Nov. 30: Cyber Monday Online Sales Fall to $10.7B

Cyber Monday online sales slipped 1.4% from 2020 levels to $10.7 billion, according to data presented by Adobe Analytics on Tuesday, marking the first time the firm saw a decline in spending on significant shopping days, although it still expects a record e-commerce activity for the whole holiday season.

Adobe said consumers in the US have so far spent $109.8 billion online from Nov. 1 through Cyber Monday, up 11.9% year-on-year, with 22 of those days registering a new $3 billion milestone purchase, while it projected digital sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 at $207 billion, representing a 10% record surge.

Wednesday, Dec. 1: Crypto.com to Acquire Two of IG Group’s US Assets

Crypto.com is set to acquire North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) and Small Exchange, in a $216-million deal with IG Group, as the Singaporean crypto exchange aims to expand in the US where crypto exchanges struggle to work under strict regulations on offering such risky assets to retail traders.

Crypto.com will acquire the UK financial services firm’s 39% stake in Small Exchange, while the whole deal, expected to close in the first half of 2022, would provide the rapidly-growing crypto exchange the means to offer derivatives and futures to clients in the US.

Thursday, Dec. 2: Yen Near 7-Week High, Rand Falls on Omicron Fears

The Japanese yen traded close to a seven-week high on Thursday, while the South African rand and riskier currencies weakened as the possibly more contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant became a dominant strain in the country and continued to spread worldwide.

The US dollar gained 0.40% to 113.21 against the safe-haven yen, staying further away from Tuesday’s low of 112.53, a level not reached since Oct. 11, while the greenback fell 0.54% to 15.94 against the rand after increasing more than 1% overnight.

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