Markets are already looking ahead to the post-Omicron era

While the holiday season was marked by cautious optimism, given the risks associated with the surge in Covid cases around the world, the first market session of the year saw equities hit new highs and bond yields rebound sharply: the US 10-year bond yield even recorded its strongest rise for the start of the year since 2009: +12bp. Is this really a sign of strong inflation concerns and fears of a sharp adjustment in monetary policy? No, because equity markets would not have followed suit. Rather, it reflects the belief that the Omicron wave will not have a lasting impact on activity and that the eruption of this more contagious but less aggressive variant may signal a turning point in the pandemic.

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Manufacturing PMIs were not revised downwards in December and the Caixin index rose back above 50 in China, which tends to support this optimistic view. We will see today whether the ISM in the US and the UK PMI confirm this trend, but this should be the case.

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