By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Thursday morning, with investors digesting the and the impact of the new omicron COVID-19 variant on the economic recovery.
China’s was up 0.39% by 9:04 PM ET (2:04 AM GMT) and the was up 0.21%.
Data released earlier in the day showed that the consumer price index (CPI) grew 2.3% and 0.4% in November. The grew 12.9% year on year.
Investors also continue to monitor China’s property sector, with a group of Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. (HK:) bondholders close to signing non-disclosure agreements with the developer. The move could pave the way for discussions around a potential financing deal for the company.
Hong Kong’s jumped 1.03%.
Japan’s edged down 0.19%. South Korea’s gained 0.57%, with the number of COVID-19 cases in the country exceeding 7,000 for the first time on Wednesday.
In Australia, the inched up 0.01%, with Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe speaking earlier in the day.
U.S. Treasury yields climbed, with the benchmark 10-year rising above 1.50% after a 10-year note auction.
Initial lab studies showed that a third dose of the Pfizer Inc (NYSE:)/BioNTech SE (F:) COVID-19 vaccine could be needed to neutralize omicron. Pfizer will have data that will show how well the vaccine prevents omicron infections before the end of 2021, said Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla. He added that a third booster dose will hopefully “do the job” in restoring high levels of protection.
Investors now await more clarity on omicron’s risk to the economic recovery, the on Friday, and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision, which will be handed down next week. But until then, some are bracing for more volatility.
“We are looking to potentially have a rise in volatility even if the market continues higher around those events next week. Many of the catalysts that gave us this boom out of COVID-19 are slowing. And then you have the Fed potentially tapering into a decelerating economy,” Optimal Capital portfolio strategist Frances Stacy told Bloomberg.
Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari will speak later in the day.
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