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January 6 () – European stock index futures fell nearly 2 percent on Thursday as alarming signals from U.S. Federal Reserve meeting minutes and the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant upset investor sentiment.
Futures tracking Europe’s top 50 firms fell 1.9 percent at 07:00 GMT. Among regional markets, UK FTSE futures fell 1.4 percent and Germany’s DAX futures fell 1.5 percent.
Protocols from last month’s meeting of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday showed a tight labor market, and persistent inflation could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than expected and start cutting total assets.
Asian stocks showed an overnight decline in the Wall Street index, while the technologically heavy Nasdaq fell more than 3%.
As countries try to combat the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, a French government spokesman said the number of COVID-19 infections will continue to rise “supersonic” in the coming days and there are no signs of a change in this trend.
The STOXX 600 benchmark closed its third record in a row on Wednesday due to a rally in car stocks. (Anisha Sirkar’s interview in Bangalore; edited by Shounak Dasgupta)