Good morning, and welcome to our live, rolling coverage of business, economics, the eurozone and financial markets.
Investors have their eyes on one thing this morning: just how bad is the omicron coronavirus going to be for economies across the world. UK and European stock market futures suggest that traders are rattled: the FTSE 100 is on course to fall by 1.9% on opening, while Germany’s Dax benchmark index and France’s Cac 40 are set for declines of 2.4% apiece.
The week before Christmas is usually a fairly odd affair on financial markets, as investors lock up their trading terminals and put their feet up. The last two years have been somewhat different. Omicron is the ghost of Christmas past following last year’s holiday lockdowns when the delta coronavirus variant swept across the world.
Asian markets have set the tone: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 2.2%, while China’s SSE Composite index, which covers…