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Indian stocks are extending their fall today morning. The benchmark Sensex was down 489 points or three-quarters of a percent at the time of writing. Asian markets are also mostly in the red.
Mostly, this is owing to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. An increasing number of cases is being reported everywhere from the US to India, keeping markets on the edge.
While this strain is more transmissible, there are doubts still on the severity of disease it causes. AFP reported that Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the US President, as saying on Sunday that the preliminary data on the severity of the strain are "a bit encouraging".
Added to this was the gloom surrounding US jobs data and an expected tightening of US monetary policy, with Fed chair Jerome Powell signalling an acceleration of tapering the bond buying programme.
The omicron uncertainty will cause markets to be volatile for some time. In India, the VIX rose to 19, indicating more near-term volatility.
On the other hand, oil prices trended up despite the OPEC+ grouping pledging to hike output in January. Brent crude prices rose today as well after the release of Saudi Aramco selling prices which signal strong demand. Notwithstanding omicron, Brent crude prices will hold above $70 a barrel, predicts our research team. Read why here.
Our research team has written the following notes:
Railway engineering sector: On a structural uptrend
Home First Finance -- Can the stock move up despite the rich valuations?
What else are we reading?Putin's visit — Multipolar approach to guide India’s talks with Russia
Why ITC may gain little from listing its infotech or other divisions
The Eastern Window | How the West is fighting China’s Belt and Road
Digital fintech needs physical wheels to move forward
Are slippages in Ashok Leyland’s performance a speed bump or cause for worry?
Resurgent COVID-19 may not upset home textile exports growth, but rising costs a worry
Will Omicron force MPC to maintain status quo?
Life at the top gets harder for chief executives (republished from the FT)
Picks from our technical analysts
Century Ply, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Bajaj Finance and Piramal Enterprises (These are published every trading day before markets open)