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Nikkei 225 bounces as investors estimate omicron risks

On Tuesday, shares in Asia-Pacific increased as investors continued to monitor the omicron Covid variant’s situation.

Japanese stocks showed growth in the region. The Nikkei 225 in Japan started increasing 2.04%, while the Topix index grew 1.68%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.42%.

Mainland Chinese stocks advanced, with the Shanghai composite up approximately 0.5% while the Shenzhen component rose slightly. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index achieved 0.55%.

Shares in Australia also increased as the S&P/ASX 200 earned 0.79%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares traded 0.73% higher outside Japan.

Investors keep tracking the situation of the new omicron variant, which makes things unreliable and unpredictable while putting the festive holiday period into a shadow.

In the meantime, curbs appeared in countries across Europe. On Monday, Global stocks fell as worries surrounding the fast-spreading omicron variant affected investor sentiment.

After Micron showed stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings, Asia-Pacific’s semiconductor stocks increased in Tuesday trade. On Monday, shares of the U.S.-listed company advanced almost 8% in after-hours trading.

In Japan, Tokyo Electron shares bounced nearly 4.2%, while Advantest earned 4.32%.

In South Korea, industry giant Samsung Electronics shares accumulated 1.18%, while SK Hynix grew 2.8%. Hong Kong-listed shares of SMIC also increased by more than 1.5%.

Overnight stateside, the major averages declined more than 1.5% each amid the tension and uncertainty around the new omicron strain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 433.29 points, equal to 1.24%, to 34,932.17, while the S&P 500 cleared 1.15% to 4,568.03. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.25% to 14,980.95.

The U.S. dollar index was at 96.475, off levels above 96.7. The Japanese yen traded at 113.66 per dollar, more robust than levels above 115 seen last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7112, struggling to recover after falling from above $0.73.

Oil prices seemed higher in Asia trading, up 0.77% to $72.07 per barrel. U.S. crude futures climbed 0.98% to $69.28 per barrel.

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