TOKYO : Asia stock markets last December 2021 were generally weaker with U.S. crude in holiday-thinned trading on Monday, as uncertainty over the economic impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant weighed on investor sentiment.
U.S. airlines have cancelled or delayed thousands of flights over the past three days due to COVID-19-related staff shortages, while several cruise ships had to cancel stops after outbreaks on-board. Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.20 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi tumbled 0.11 percent.
Asia stock markets week
Mainland Chinese shares, though, were mixed, with Shanghai’s benchmark sliding 0.37 percent but an index of blue chips edged 0.05 percent higher.
In the foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar continued to languish near the bottom of its range of the past month against a basket of major peers, after hitting a 16-month high in November as Federal Reserve policymakers turned more hawkish.
The dollar index was about flat at 96.116, towards the bottom of the range from 95.544 to the 16-month peak at 96.938 reached on Nov. 24.
In the crude market, U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 59 cents to $73.20 a barrel. The contract did not trade on Friday because of the U.S. market holiday.Brent crude though rose 26 cents to $76.40 a barrel, rebounding from Friday’s 71 cent decline