Omicron Covid variant causes the Australian share market to plunge – here’s where you should park your cash
- Australian share market set to fall on Monday morning over Omicron panic
- SPI futures pointing to the benchmark ASX200 opening 1.4 per cent weaker
- Market opened 1.1 per cent weaker but first hour loss moderated to 0.6 per cent
- A third case of the Omicron variant has been detected in Sydney from traveller
The Australian share market is set to fall on Monday as investors panic about the Omicron variant.
The Australian futures, also known as the SPI, was pointing to the ASX200 opening 1.4 per cent weaker when the Australian Securities Exchange opens at 10am.
As trading opened, the S&P/ASX200 was 1.1 per cent weaker at 7,198.6 points.
Three cases of the potentially more contagious variant have been detected in Sydney from returned travellers.
The New York Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 2.5 per cent weaker during the Friday night session.
The Australian share market is set to fall on Monday as investors panic about the Omicron variant. The Australian futures, also known as the SPI, is pointing to the ASX200 opening 1.4 per cent weaker when the Australian Securities Exchange opens at 10am (pictured are passengers at Sydney International Airport undergoing Covid tests)
IG market analyst Kyle Rodda said investors were particularly concerned about a vaccine-resistant variant that could cause economic damage by sparking more lockdowns and travel restrictions.
IG market analyst Kyle Rodda said investors were particularly concerned about a vaccine-resistant variant that could cause economic damage by sparking more lockdowns and travel restrictions
‘There are a series of unanswered questions about what this actually means for the global economy and the global growth outlook more broadly,’ he told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.
‘Until those questions are basically answered, we’re going to see a high level of uncertainty reign in financial markets.
‘Any time there’s a high level of uncertainty, it means a high level of volatility and normally that’s really bad for equities.
‘At the moment, we’re in an environment where the ultimate fear is that we’re back to something pre-vaccines, the horrible days of 2020 where we have a virus that’s more virulent than Delta, that maybe leads to more severe outcomes potentially and is vaccine resistant.’
During times of turmoil, safe haven assets like gold and government bonds are attractive to investors, along with benchmark currencies like the US dollar, Japanese yen and Swiss franc.
‘That has provided a buffer for equity market losses,’ Mr Rodda said.
By the first hour of trade, the S&P/ASX200’s losses had moderated to 0.6 per cent.
In another irony, gold miner Northern Star had lost 1.2 per cent, falling back to $9.66, even though gold stocks traditionally perform well during a time of turmoil.
The New York Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 2.5 per cent weaker during the Friday night session
Mr Rodda said it was too soon to dump shares, with the market likely to recover once it was established existing vaccines would be able to contain the Omicron variant.
‘It’s not a foregone conclusion that this is going to be some kind of March 2020 level of collapse,’ he said.
‘Trying to stay cool in this kind of environment and reassess things based on their merits is very important too.’
The share market didn’t initially panic after the first case of Covid came to Australia at the end of January 2020.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 reached a peak on February 14, 2020, almost three weeks after that first case before plunging by 33 per cent over the next five weeks.
That peak wasn’t surpassed against until May 2021.
The Australian share market peaked in August when both Sydney and Melbourne were in lockdown and has retreated despite the unwinding of restrictions.