Asia travel shares fall on omicron worries

Aviation and travel-related shares were generally lower in early Asian trade, as investor concerns about the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant boosted control. Borders are tighter in some countries.

China Southern Airlines Co.

slip 4%, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

down 3%, Korean Air Lines Co.

down 0.5% and Singapore Airlines Ltd.

down 1.8%. Samsung C&T Corp.
South Korea’s largest amusement park operator, Everland, slashed prices by 2%, while airline services company SATS Ltd. listed in Singapore.

down 1.3%. Luggage manufacturer Samsonite International SA

down 3.0%.

Hong Kong-listed casino shares also fell on concerns about the virus, as well as news that an arrest warrant for the head of Macau’s largest gambling group had been issued for cross-border gambling activities. . Sands China Ltd.

fell 6%, Wynn Macau Ltd.

down 9% and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.

slip 8%.

Global markets tumbled on Friday after the World Health Organization called the newly identified Omicron a “worrying variant”.

Many market analysts have described the drop in Asian stocks as an uncertain response to uncertainty, as little is known about the infectivity of the new variant. Vaccine Partner BioNTech SE
+ 14.19%

and Pfizer Inc.
+ 6.11%

said it will take at least two weeks to evaluate the vaccine’s effectiveness against the new strain of virus.

Morgan Stanley said the emergence of the new COVID variant could have different effects across Asia. China, Hong Kong and Taiwan “have maintained a COVID-0 strategy, which will limit the short-term economic impact but will delay any efforts to reopen and revive consumption growth”. In countries that have managed to open up and live with the virus – including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia – economies “risk a short-term slowdown in growth”, it said.

The impact on India and Southeast Asia could be greater, the bank added, as “these economies tend to tighten restrictions when cases increase dramatically”.

It added that the risks to regional economic growth are tilted in favor of the first quarter of 2022, given the starting point of cases in the current quarter is relatively low.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs estimates that travel restrictions could hit global economic growth by 2.0% in the fourth week of November – but added that the impact was mild compared with a peak of 20 % recorded mid-April 2020. Asia travel shares fall on omicron worries


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