European stocks slipped on Tuesday amid nervousness around the novel omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP,
fell 1.4% to 460.73, after the CEO of vaccine maker Moderna MRNA,
was quoted as saying that existing vaccines would be much less effective against the new variant. Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times that it would be months before new vaccines against the variant were widely available.
The news has hit all sectors, with oil and gas SXEP,
and SXTP travel and leisure,
sectors that are suffering the most.
Among the main regional indices, the German DAX DAX,
slipped by 1.5%, the French CAC 40 PX1,
fell 1.5% and the UK FTSE 100 UKX,
Futures contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00,
lost more than 500 points.
“The prospect of further restrictions before Christmas puts a lot of pressure on energy and travel and leisure stocks, which are among the worst performing today,” said Pierre Veyret, technical analyst at ActivTrades.
Markets will focus on comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell ahead of a hearing on Tuesday. “This new variant puts central banks in a difficult position as they will now be torn between taking hawkish measures to combat rising inflation and keeping extremely accommodative policies in place to support growth with the economic recovery now threatened.” by that tension, ”Veyret said.
shares fell 5% after the resignation of its executive chairman, Pablo Isla Alvazez. He will be replaced by Marta Ortega Perez, the daughter of the founder of the company, as Oscar Garcia Maceiras, his general counsel, succeeding Carlos Crespo Gonzalez as managing director.