Monday brought a solid rise for the FTSE 100 despite the continued spread of the Omicron variant as investors reacted positively to suggestions from officials in the US and South Africa that the latest strain of Covid might carry milder symptoms.
It doesn’t feel like we are out of the woods yet, particularly as, even if this definitely proves to be the case, increased transmissibility could mean a wave of hospitalisations from a lower proportion of people getting really sick.
It still feels like we’re in the guesswork stage of working out what the impact of Omicron will be so it would be naïve to rule out further volatility as markets attempt to work out exactly what’s going on.
“BP and Shell helped give the FTSE 100 some support as Saudi Arabia lifted its official oil prices as it looked to address the recent slide in crude,” says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
“Also among the risers in London was FirstGroup amid speculation of progress in its hunt for a new CEO and ahead of a trading update on Thursday where the performance of its lower cost Lumo rail service between London and Edinburgh is likely to take the spotlight.
“Shipping broker Clarkson was in demand after it signalled results would beat expectations. Its services have been in demand as businesses desperately try and move goods around a log jammed global supply chain.”