Tensions rising

Today's news headlines: 

‘BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine may be less effective against Omicron, study finds’. Researchers from the African Health Research Institute have found that the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine may not be as effective against the Omicron variant as first thought. The new variant can evade antibody neutralisation much more easily, however, those who are double jabbed have been found to still have significant protection. Although protection against the variant may be diminished, the lack of potency of the vaccines isn’t as bad as initially thought, and more booster jabs could be a possibility. (Financial Times)

‘US to demand halt to Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine’. The threat of a Russian invasion into Ukraine is building as soldier counts continue to grow on the border near Donbas. The US has since called on Germany to help put a halt to Nord Stream 2 developments if Vladimir Putin presses ahead with the invasion in the New Year. The US is aiming to get the EU on-side in their fight to cool tensions, with most strategies aimed at targeting Russia’s economy and some discussions taking place around restrictions on the Ruble. (Financial Times)


Markets climbed yesterday as fears around the Omicron Coronavirus variant abated; the S&P 500 closed 2.07% higher. Volatility also pulled back, with the VIX falling 20.00%. WTI has paused in its recent move higher at the start of this week, trading at the $71 handle. The latest update on the US job market will be published today as the next Federal Reserve meeting draws near.


Japan Economic Watchers Sentiment: 56.3 vs 55.5 last month
Bank of Canada Rate Statement: 3:00PM
US JOLTS Job Openings: 3:00PM
US Crude Oil Inventories: 3:30PM
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe speaks: 10:05PM

Interbank rates:

GBP/USD – 1.3251
GBP/EUR – 1.1734
EUR/USD – 1.1291
USD/CAD – 1.2643

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