Global Markets Steady as Investors Reconsider the Unknowns of Omicron – The New York Times

Stocks of companies in industries that had been bouncing back in recent months, like airlines and other travel firms, took big hits as governments reintroduced limits on movement across borders.

While the new variant might turn out to be more contagious and vaccine resistant, it might also prove to be less dangerous to the health of the vaccinated or previously infected.

Futures of the two major benchmarks, Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate, gained 5.6 percent and 6.6 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.6 percent on a day when the government sealed the country’s borders, just days after opening to short-term business travelers and international students.

Will there be new lockdowns or vaccine mandates? Some jumped on the Omicron variant as an opportunity to urge airlines to require proof of vaccination and testing for passengers.

In Britain, new rules come into effect on Tuesday that require all travelers to isolate on arrival until they receive a negative test result; similar policies elsewhere would make attending conferences and other gatherings more difficult, a potential setback for airlines that were just starting to see a rebound.

Are workers ever going back to the office? Beyond the immediate question about office holiday parties, there’s the bigger question about the fate of offices next year and beyond.

Several nations, including the United States, have banned visitors from South Africa and a handful of neighboring countries.

It isn’t yet clear how or whether the Omicron variant will affect travel demand, but if travel bans proliferate and concerns over the variant continue to spread, hopes for an accelerated international rebound could be dashed once again.

Both have said that they are not yet planning to adjust their schedules in response to the administration’s ban, which takes effect on Monday and does not apply to American citizens or lawful permanent residents.

The number of people screened at airport security checkpoints over the past week was down only 10 percent from the same week in 2019, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The campaign to leave the European Union was championed loudest by the United Kingdom Independence Party, whose leader, Nigel Farage, pushed for a law that would ensure “British jobs for British workers.” In 2013, he warned of a “Romanian crime wave.”The British government estimates that it needs 100,000 more drivers.

Solar panels and electric car batteries rely on cobalt, a metal abundant in the Democratic Republic of Congo and rare elsewhere.

Places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produces two-thirds of the world’s supply of cobalt, are stepping into the kinds of roles once played by Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich nations.

The most recent report showed that the economy added more than 500,000 jobs in October after months of disappointing job figures.

Theranos trial: Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the blood testing start-up Theranos, will continue to testify as she defends herself against fraud charges.

Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday: Americans returned to in-person shopping with gusto on Black Friday.

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