New variant Omicron has recently contributed to volatility in the equity market but fears seem to have abated somewhat this week with Pfizer and BioNTech sharing laboratory results indicating that their booster vaccine could be effective against this new strain. This announcement helped to allay concerns about the possible economic ramifications. While the potential for further lockdown restrictions has temporarily spooked markets, we have seen retail mobility increase and economies have found new ways to adapt. The impact of each wave on economic growth and in turn equity markets reduces with each new wave.
The influential US equity market which makes up two thirds of the global equity market climbed by 2.3% in euro terms this week. The S&P 500 recorded its best weekly gain since February. Information Technology stocks drove much of the rally, as gains in Apple pushed the market cap of the world’s most highly valued public company near USD 3 trillion. This milestone makes it as big as the world’s fifth largest economy after Germany (currently holding the position of fourth largest economy in the world). All this comes just over a year after breaching the USD 2 trillion mark.