Watch For:

ECB's Lagarde and de Guindos speak; EU Business and Consumer Surveys; Germany Provisional CPI;

Opening Call:

European stocks could open mixed early Monday on after Friday drops. U.S. stock futures rise. Stocks markets in Asia are broadly lower. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 1.54% from 1.484% on Friday. Oil prices rebound, gold slightly higher.


European stocks are set to open mixed as investors around the globe are looking to Monday's early trading for clues to the scale of the threat posed by the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant.

Though occasional sharp reversals have become commonplace during the bull market that started last year after the lockdown-inspired spring market rout, traders and portfolio managers were struck by the ferocity of selling on Friday. U.S. stock trading volume hit the highest level on the day after Thanksgiving in at least 14 years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 posting their largest-ever Black Friday declines.

While half-staffed trading desks on Black Friday may have resulted in exaggerated market moves, some traders and portfolio managers said they believe it may be some time before markets can fully assess the risk of fresh Covid-related economic disruption.

On Monday morning in Asia, U.S. stock-index futures rose, suggesting U.S. markets could open higher later in the day. Stock markets in Asia were broadly lower in early trading.

While some countries have moved quickly to manage the emerging risk from the new variant, it could be weeks before Omicron's actual transmissibility and severity is known, said Alvin Tan, head of Asia FX Strategy at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong. "The markets have already priced in a strong recovery, so this element of uncertainty is negative. But it is unlikely to be a repeat of the beginning of the pandemic," he said.

While the emergence of the recent Covid-19 variant is "definitely scary, " Mr. Kerschner said, the market swoon may have been an overreaction that could reverse when more traders are back in the office.

On Black Friday, there were fewer people at their desks, said Mr. Kerschner. "Whenever it happens on a low volume day, it seems to get out of proportion...We'll see how things look on Monday," he added.

Stocks to watch: the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant jeopardizes what was an increasingly positive near-term outlook for mining stocks, said Jefferies.

"Regardless of whether this new variant is a real issue, the sector is likely to be under short-term pressure as there is a renewed risk of lockdowns, which would negatively impact demand and push investors away from such a highly cyclical sector," Jefferies said.

Still, the bank--which said the mining sector is otherwise "underowned" and poised to benefit from higher metals prices--reckons investors should buy mining stocks in bouts of short-term weakness because the medium- to long-term fundamental outlook is unchanged and still very positive.


The U.S. dollar is likely to remain elevated this week, particularly against commodity currencies, said CBA, even as markets pare back Federal Reserve tightening expectations due to Omicron uncertainty.

Some FOMC officials have recently suggested they are open to upping the pace of tapering in December, but "the emergence of omicron may delay such a policy change," the bank said.

The latest Covid-19 variant, Omicron, has injected a new dynamic into foreign exchange markets and a key risk is that uncertainty about the level of threat is not lifted quickly, which would underpin volatility, said Bannockburn Global Forex.

It said there are three key changes since the middle of last week: odds of a BoE rate increase next month have fallen further, acceleration of Fed tapering seems unlikely, and prospects for stronger world growth are diminished on the margins.

"This undermines risk appetites and weakens those currencies that often appear to do better in robust growth phases, e.g., dollar bloc, Scandis, and most emerging market currencies," Bannockburn said.

The USD/JPY recoups some of big losses marked on Friday due to concerns about the emerging Omicron variant of Covid-19 and new travel restrictions. The market's focus is on any reports on whether existing Covid-19 vaccines are effective against the Omicron variant, IG said. The USD/JPY may rise back toward 115 this week if reports suggest effectiveness, IG said.


U.S. Treasury yield rose to 1.54% from 1.484% on Friday. Investors will remain risk-averse until they receive more information about the new Covid-19 variant, said Larry Milstein, head of treasury and agency trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co. He expects to continue seeing investors move into safer assets like government bonds at the start of the week.

"There's a lot of questions and markets don't like uncertainty," he said.

Friday's market moves in part reflect pushback against the widespread confidence in the economic recovery that had propelled benchmark bond yields higher in recent weeks and supported the rise in stocks.


Oil gained in early Asian trade after dropping sharply in Friday's session as news of the highly contagious Omicron variant spooked markets. Goldman Sachs thinks the sell-off looks overdone, given that mobility restrictions will likely only lower global oil demand by 0.5 million barrels a day, excluding jet fuel.

The investment bank will continue to eye further developments on the spread of the Omicron variant before changing its supply and demand forecasts.


Gold was slightly higher in early Asian trade, supported by safe-haven demand amid worries surrounding the global spread of the Omicron variant, ANZ said.

Traders are also likely focusing on the timing of an expected interest rate increase by the Fed, which could be delayed due to the virus woes, it added.

Copper gains in Asian trade amid a general recovery in industrial metals, thanks to stronger U.S. yields and a better outlook for the greenback, said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst in Oanda.

The base metal rebounded from its declines in the previous session caused by the emergence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, which raised concerns that China's economy could slow further due to its zero-Covid strategy, ANZ said.

Rio Tinto faces the greatest risk to iron-ore production and capex among major miners from Western Australia state's heritage law changes, Goldman Sachs said.

The changes to the heritage laws are expected to pass by year-end and will likely increase the time taken for permit approvals, the bank said. With a possible 17 "replacement" mines to be constructed from 2021-2027, Rio has the highest number of mines to build in the years ahead, versus rivals BHP and Fortescue, as it seeks to balance falling tonnages from maturing pits, Goldman Sachs said.



Omicron Variant Is Reported in More Countries as Officials Grapple With How to Respond

Countries around the world reported their first cases of the Omicron variant over the weekend and some imposed new travel restrictions, racing to protect themselves against the potentially more contagious strain even as scientists cautioned they don't yet know how severe it will prove to be.

Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Austria on Sunday joined a group of countries that have detected a strain first documented in South Africa that authorities said could pose a greater risk of people falling ill with Covid-19 a second time and could be more transmissible than other variants.


Labor Talks to Start in 2022 at Congested West Coast Ports

U.S. shippers struggling with supply-chain gridlock on the West Coast face new concerns in the coming year as dockworkers and marine terminals gird for talks on a new labor contract.


Economy Week Ahead: Factories, Inflation, Jobs

The U.S. employment report for November highlights this week's economic data. Economists, analysts and investors are also closely tracking the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus to determine its impact on health and the broader economy.


Eurozone Inflation Likely Hit Record High in November

Consumer-price inflation in the eurozone likely hit a record high in November, but many economists think that might mark a peak for now, and therefore don't expect the European Central Bank to raise its key interest rate next year.

As in the U.S., consumer prices in the eurozone have risen faster over recent months than most economists and policy makers had expected. The data have raised questions for investors, businesses and households about the credibility of central bank assertions that this period of high inflation is likely to prove transitory.


RBNZ Chief Economist Doesn't See Omicron Derailing Rate Increases

WELLINGTON, New Zealand-The new Covid-19 variant that has unsettled financial markets would need to have a dramatic economic impact to deter the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from continuing to raise interest rates, its chief economist Yuong Ha said Monday.

New Zealand's central bank last week raised its cash rate for the second time in two months, as it withdrew pandemic stimulus that has driven consumer-price inflation to its highest point since 2010.


Asian Travel Stocks Fall on Omicron Fears

Airline and travel-related stocks are broadly lower in early Asian trade, weighed by investor concerns over the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, which has prompted tighter border controls in some countries.

China Southern Airlines Co. slips 2.6%, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. falls 2.4%, Korean Air Lines Co. is down 1.3% and Singapore Airlines Ltd. declines 1.8%. Samsung C&T Corp., which operates South Korea's largest theme park, Everland, is off 2.3%, while Singapore-listed airline servicing company SATS Ltd. falls 1.3%. Luggage maker Samsonite International S.A. falls 3.0%.


Buyout Boom Gains Steam in Record Year for Private Equity

Big leveraged buyouts are back, and this year's crop might just be a taste of things to come.

Private-equity firms have announced a record $944.4 billion worth of buyouts in the U.S. so far this year, 2.5 times the volume in the same period last year and more than double that of the previous peak in 2007, according to Dealogic. So far this year, there have been five $10 billion-plus deals in the U.S., equaling the total in all of 2007, though still below the high-water mark of nine in 2006.


Omicron Variant Found on Flights Reveals Gaps in Covid-19 Travel Rules

The probe into two flights from South Africa to the Netherlands, on which more than a dozen people tested positive for the newly discovered Omicron variant, reveal gaps in the patchwork of current travel measures now in place to contain the coronavirus.

Of around 600 passengers on the two flights, 61 tested positive for Covid-19 after being taken off the planes, held for hours in an isolated part of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and tested. Sunday morning, Dutch health authorities said that at least 13 were confirmed as the Omicron variant, a new strain first identified in southern Africa.


Iran's Nuclear Advances Weigh on Renewed Talks

As negotiators gather in Vienna for talks aimed at reviving an international nuclear agreement with Iran, one big question looms: Has Tehran advanced its nuclear work so much in the past two years that the 2015 deal can no longer be rescued?

Restoring the pact, which placed limits on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions, is a top foreign-policy goal of the Biden administration. Iran's new president, however, has delayed restarting talks while pressing ahead with nuclear work.


Eurozone Inflation Likely Hit Record High in November

Consumer-price inflation in the eurozone likely hit a record high in November, but many economists think that might mark a peak for now, and therefore don't expect the European Central Bank to raise its key interest rate next year.

As in the U.S., consumer prices in the eurozone have risen faster over recent months than most economists and policy makers had expected. The data have raised questions for investors, businesses and households about the credibility of central bank assertions that this period of high inflation is likely to prove transitory.


Taliban Covert Operatives Seized Kabul, Other Afghan Cities From Within

KABUL-Undercover Taliban agents-often clean-shaven, dressed in jeans and sporting sunglasses-spent years infiltrating Afghan government ministries, universities, businesses and aid organizations.

Then, as U.S. forces were completing their withdrawal in August, these operatives stepped out of the shadows in Kabul and other big cities across Afghanistan, surprising their neighbors and colleagues. Pulling their weapons from hiding, they helped the Taliban rapidly seize control from the inside.


U.K. Looks to Compete on Financial Regulation

London wants to regain the mantle of the world's busiest financial center from New York by overhauling how banks and other financial firms are regulated after Brexit.

The U.K. government said this month its top financial regulators will be required to help boost growth and international competitiveness in the financial sector, as secondary mandates to existing tasks such as maintaining financial stability and consumer protection.


WTO Postpones First Meeting in Four Years Amid Covid Variant Concerns

WASHINGTON-The World Trade Organization has decided to postpone a ministerial meeting scheduled to start Tuesday in Geneva, after dozens of nations restricted travel from southern Africa to prevent the transmission of a new coronavirus variant.

The WTO attributed the postponement to newly announced travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in Switzerland and many other European countries, leaving many delegates unable to travel. The group said that the member countries unanimously supported the decision.


In the Land of Dikes, Nature Now Reinforces Flood Defenses

BEVEREN, Belgium-The world's levees are losing the battle against rising seas and overflowing rivers, so experts here want to learn how to fight smarter.

Locals in the coastal regions of northwest Europe, long known as the Low Countries, for centuries have expanded their space for farming and living with earthen barriers that hold back the saltwater and stop freshwater floods. Those triumphs of engineering now face unprecedented assault from oceans and rivers.


Clearlake Capital to Buy Quest Software From Francisco Partners

Clearlake Capital Group LP has struck a deal to buy Quest Software Inc. from Francisco Partners in the latest sign of private-equity firms' voracious appetite for software.

The deal, expected to be announced as soon as Monday, values Quest at $5.4 billion including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.


Nissan to Spend $17.6 Billion on Battery-Powered Vehicles Over Five Years

TOKYO-Nissan Motor Co. said Monday it planned to spend $17.6 billion over the next five years as part of a plan to add 20 new battery-powered vehicles to its lineup.

The company hopes to recapture some of the prominence it formerly held in the electric-vehicle race after its pioneering introduction of the Leaf EV more than a decade ago. Investors have given a boost to the share prices of car companies that are betting big on EVs, including relative newcomers such as Tesla Inc., and industry stalwarts like Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG.


Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Assess Omicron Response

Vaccine makers will spend several weeks assessing the danger and potential impact of the coronavirus's new Omicron variant.

But they are already racing to develop ways to combat it.


Activist Investor Ancora Urges Berry Global to Explore a Sale

Activist investor Ancora Holdings Inc. is pushing Berry Global Group Inc., a packaging manufacturer with a roughly $9 billion market value, to explore a sale.

Ancora, which owns about 1% of Berry Global, is urging it to explore strategic alternatives including a possible sale and make other changes, according to a copy of a letter the activist sent to the company's board Sunday that was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.


Airlines Avoid Thanksgiving Pitfalls as Daily Passengers Top Two Million

Travelers returning home Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday are encountering busy airports and full flights, but relatively few of the problems that have plagued air travel in recent months.

The holiday week has been a test of whether U.S. airlines have done enough to prevent the kinds of snafus that have resulted in major meltdowns and thousands of canceled flights.


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Expected Major Events for Monday

00:01/UK: Oct Zoopla House Price Index

05:30/NED: Nov Producer confidence survey

07:00/DEN: Nov Business tendency survey

07:00/TUR: Oct Foreign Trade

08:00/HUN: Oct Employment & unemployment

08:00/SVK: Nov Business tendency survey

08:00/SVK: Nov Economic sentiment indicator

08:00/SPN: Nov Flash Estimate CPI

08:30/SWE: Oct Foreign trade

08:30/SWE: 3Q GDP

09:00/ITA: Oct PPI

09:00/GER: Nov Bavaria CPI

09:00/GER: Nov Hesse CPI

09:00/GER: Nov Baden-Wuerttemberg CPI

09:30/GER: Nov North Rhine Westphalia CPI

09:30/UK: Oct Money and Credit - Lending to Individuals, Lending to Businesses, Broad Money and Credit

09:30/UK: Oct Monetary & Financial Statistics

09:30/UK: Oct Bank of England effective interest rates

10:00/CYP: Sep Industrial Production Index

10:00/EU: Nov Business & Consumer Surveys - Business Climate Indicator & Economic Sentiment Indicator

10:00/MLT: 3Q GDP

10:00/GER: Nov Saxony CPI

10:30/BEL: Nov CPI

11:00/IRL: Oct Retail Sales Index

13:00/GER: Nov Provisional CPI

16:59/SPN: Oct Budget deficit

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 29, 2021 00:31 ET (05:31 GMT)

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