Eurozone markets flatten before rate calls
Eurozone stock markets ran out of steam on Dec. 14 before key interest rate decisions this week.
In early afternoon deals, both Frankfurt and Paris stocks flatlined, reversing earlier gains, but London pushed 0.4 percent higher approaching midday.
World oil prices retreated on fears over the effect on demand of the surge in new coronavirus infections, after rebounding sharply last week.
Central bank policymakers are battling soaring inflation that has largely been fuelled by runaway energy costs.
At the same time, however, many investors fear that the Omicron variant could throw the global recovery into jeopardy.
“Investors should expect stock markets to be volatile in remaining days of the week as central banks of massive economies like the United States, Europe, and England are expected to communicate their monetary policies,” said AvaTrade analyst Naeem Aslam.
Asian shares fell as investors eyed the Omicron coronavirus variant and woes in the Chinese property market. Hong Kong and Shanghai both closed with losses, dragged down by continued woes in the Chinese housing market sparked by the spectacular fall from grace of property giant Evergrande. Developer Shimao became the latest firm to be pulled into the dragnet yesterday as its share price plunged to its lowest level in a decade.
And the decision by Chinese start-up SenseTime to postpone a $767 million initial public offering in Hong Kong also spooked markets, highlighting the risks investors face from competing sanctions as relations between Washington and Beijing sour.