The SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution Technical Advisory Group (VE-GAD) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses whether mutations and combinations of mutations alter the virus behavior. The VE-TAG was convened on November 26, 2021 although the first known confirmed infection for B.1.1.529 (Omicron) was from a sample collected on November 9.
B.1.1.529 (Omicron) was first reported to WHO from South Africa on November 24, 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been described by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the last of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased considerably, coinciding with the detection of the B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed infection for B.1.1.529 was from a sample collected on November 9, 2021.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the new variant is “worrisome” and preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection. However, the WHO has warned against countries imposing travel restrictions too quickly, saying they should pursue a “scientific and risk-based approach.”
The first governments to cancel direct flights to these African countries in Britain, France and Israel. Subsequently, the member states of the European Union joined the measure, adding to the list Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The WHO warns that the number of Omicron cases is increasing in all South African provinces, so the vaccination rate is lower, and that it has been detected at faster rates than previous infection surges.
A few hours after the market close on November 24, the information was already circulating and the panic did not take long to be noticed in the market. Stock markets around the world opened lower the next day. 0.8% drops in all international indices. DAX fell 2.7% to the Dow some 900 points and the SP500 ended 2% lower. At the close of the market on November 26, the market remained sold and down.
This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all the provinces of South Africa.
The forex market took the information in a mixed way in all the crosses. GBPUSD had a sustained buy bounce from 1.3280. Above 1.33 the cross could remain buyer for the first week of December. EURUSD showed buy interest from 1.12., The cross is also a candidate for buyers during the coming week. Both crosses will have a key performance for the American employment data on Friday, December 3. USDJPY settled at the levels 114.0 to 113.0. This crossing did not react positively to the news of the virus, therefore, it is perceived that it will not fulfill its functions as a refuge crossing. Below 113.0 we will have greater sell pressure up to 112.0 and more. The dollar had its best performance so far in September along with the loonie.
USDCAD returned to its 1.28 levels. Next week will be crucial for buyers of the 1.28 to 1.2850 barrier. The employment data will force buyers to be cautious with their buys at this junction and be prepared to settle US dollars with possible negative employment data (below 1.2770. The cryptocurrency market also performed slippery since the Omicron announcements. BTC closed for sell below $ 55,000, the next institutional level is about 50,000. ETH accompanied it lower.The recovery could be faster than expected for next week.
Gold and silver commodities also joined the market liquidation on Friday. The recovery in the price of metals and oil could be rapid if the impact of the Omicron variant can be softened. These three commodities are the candidates for next week. In gold buys are expected above 1800.0 to 1815.0 and 1820.0. Silver awaits us at 23.30 with good buyer prices. In oil, buyers will be tempted to buy at 67.0 and 68.0 (WTI).