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亚马逊云账号(www.2km.me)_Micro impact of new variant?

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Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd head of equity sales Vincent Lau (pic) says that there could be some overreaction by investors.

ONCE again the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant is wreaking havoc on the financial markets, albeit of a smaller magnitude.

Last March, the pandemic swept through financial markets, resulting in a massive selldown.

Omicron, which is said to be spreading faster than other Covid-19 variants, has sent stock, commodities and even the cryptocurrency markets into a topsy-turvy.

Malaysian stocks have experienced a volatile trading session this week.

The FBM KLCI, which comprises the 30 largest companies on Bursa Malaysia by market capitalisation, finished lower at just above the 1,500 point mark on Thursday.

The index fell almost 0.7% this week in line with the weakness in the regional and global financial markets.

The new variant has injected fresh uncertainty into the market as it spells slower economic growth for 2022. This is on top of the existing fears of rising inflation.

However, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd head of equity sales Vincent Lau says that there could be some overreaction by investors.

“We expect volatility to persist in the short run. Investors could be overreacting to the Omicron news, especially when the world is aware of Covid-19 and has been dealing with it for almost two years,” he says.

Lau reckons that the selloff in markets is a knee-jerk reaction.

For Malaysia, he says the high vaccination rate and the rollout of the booster shots should offer protection to the population.

However, a major concern is the efficacy of the current vaccines against the new variant.

The Omicron variant, which was first identified in South Africa, is reportedly more transmissible but less dangerous.

“Our body is like the computer, where we need to keep updating new ‘antivirus’ software or vaccines in the case of humans,” Lau says.

“While we don’t know the severity of the symptoms from the new variant, it is unlikely to derail the global economic recovery path next year,” he opinesJuwai IQI chief economist Shan Saeed says it is getting more difficult to curb the pace of inflation.

The selloff in the local stock market was broadbased, although the utilities sector was more defensive compared with other sectors.

The Malaysian stock market is the worst performing in South-East Asia, falling more than 7.7% year-to-date.

Lau reckons that other factors are at play, such as the weak sentiment after Dyson terminated its relationship with manufacturer ATA IMS Bhd on allegations of forced labour.

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