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UK Gov’t Set to Launch a £1 billion Omicron fund, German Consumer Sentiment Falls & Oil Prices Rebound After Selloff

FTSE 100 higher, as UK announce Omicron fund

In the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 traded higher, as it was announced that the government was launching a £1 billion fund in response to the latest wave of infections.

Cases of Omicron have spread rapidly throughout the nation, resulting in some businesses closing, and the government aims to help those affected by introducing this latest round of aid.

💡 The main points
– Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses

– Government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK

– £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter

Speaking today, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak stated that, “We continue to monitor Omicron very closely and if the situation deteriorates, we will be ready to take action if needed”.

Some expect that the government will announce partial lockdowns in upcoming weeks, which could see the reintroduction of the furlough scheme.

Regarding this, Sunak said, “We can’t rule out any further measures after Christmas”.

The FTSE closed 1.38% higher on the day.

DAX 30 higher, despite German consumer sentiment lower

Moving into Europe, data released from Germany on Tuesday reported that consumer sentiment had unexpectedly fallen.

Figures released by GfK market research, showed that its sentiment index dropped to -6.8 points, after falling to a revised final reading of -1.8 points in November.

Today’s reading was the lowest for the index since June, during the height of the Delta variant, and comes in lower than expectations for a drop to -2.5.

💡 Germany’s travel restrictions
Authorities in Germany have now banned most arrivals from Britain, obliging them to present a negative result of the COVID-19 test and follow 14-days mandatory quarantine rules, regardless of their vaccination status

Germany has already placed some restrictions on travel during the Christmas period, however many expect Chancellor Olaf Scholz to consider taking more action.

As of writing, the DAX 30 was up 1.36%.

Oil prices rebound after 2-day selloff

After falling for two consecutive sessions, Oil rallied on Tuesday, as demand for energies over the holiday’s boosted prices.  WTI crude prices climbed back above $70 per barrel, hitting an intraday high of $71.63 in the process.

This move came after crude fell to a three week low of $66.27 in yesterday’s session, as markets continued to panic over the Omicron variant.

Many countries in Europe have begun closing their borders in response to the outbreak, with Germany and France suspending all non-essential travel.

Trader’s will now wait to see if more action will be taken across the globe to curb the spread.

“Frankly, I don’t see markets; I see risks, rewards, and money.”

– Larry Hite

Eliman Dambell

Senior Market Analyst

 

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