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Omicron: Capital Market Accustomed to Irregularities?

The new Omicron variant of COVID-19 has concerned the economy. Investors are concerned that the new strain may be immune to already existing vaccinations. Omicron has been labeled a variant of concern, meaning it could be more transmissible and harmful. However, scientists and health experts are certain that the vaccine and boosters are still effective to prevent the spread and obviate hospitalization from this variant. In reaction, economic activities are hindered. Consumers are more hesitant to go out for meals and reduce their spending this Christmas. Businesses would postpone their investments. And this would then affect several sectors of the economy, especially hospitality, travel, and airlines. Investors' concerns about the Omicron variant's overall impact led the stock markets to witness a spike of volatility over the past trading sessions. The economy has inevitably dealt with the disruption caused by the pandemic. As of now, Omicron looks more like an economic setback than a calamity.

The market keeps observing the impact of this new Omicron variant on the global exchange. On Wednesday (12/1), the Asia Pacific stock exchange showed various faces on trading, followed by the decrease of Wall Street. Based on CNBC, in Japan, Nikkei 225 rose 0.3% at trading and tried to recover after several sessions, Topix Index rose 0.22%, and South Korea Kospi Index rose 0.62. Another impact was shown by the US stock exchange, which decreased (11/30), with the S&P 500 decreasing 1.9% to 4,567. Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell 652.22 points to 34,483.72, followed by Nasdaq Composite decreased 1.55% to 15,537.69. The weakening of the US stock exchange continues after Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, beckons the US central bank to consider accelerating the withdrawal of bond sales as the inflation risks increase, pressuring the agitated market due to the newest COVID-19 variant. The market is still waiting on the latest updates on the Omicron variant to decide the add-ons that governments may implement that caused an economic loss.

Omicron also bestowed IHSG to become overshadowed with negative sentiment because it is considered the next vital threat to the market. However, on Tuesday (11/30), IHSG lasted in the green zone, strengthening 0.39% to 6,632.59 points. Trading data also shows the transaction in domestic stock exchange attained Rp6.82 trillion with a frequency of more than 803 thousand times and volume of 13.85 billion stocks traded. MNC Asset Management market stocks researcher analyst Edwin Sebayang evaluates, the strengthening of Tuesday (11/30) trade is impacted by the positive catalyst of the Wall Street stock exchange reinforcement. The Omicron variant has also been a top priority for the US government with President Joe Biden's announcement towards implementing a lockdown policy. Edwin Sebayang conveyed on Tuesday (11/30), "Other than that, a positive catalyst was sourced from the strengthening of several commodities prices such as CPO, nickel, and tin sectors." Indonesia also anticipated the Omicron variant deployment by restricting control of international entrances and extending the quarantine period for Indonesian citizens who have just arrived from African countries for 14 days. Summing up, COVID-19 is still society's most significant threat, with several variants that persist on mutation. However, we need to strengthen government policy to sustain this threat and also coexist regardless of Indonesia's market condition.


CNBC Indonesia

CNN Indonesia

The Guardian

Brought to you by Mandiri Tunas Finance

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