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International Market Update
- European stocks closed higher on Wednesday, ending the final trading day of a turbulent week marked by fears over the new omicron covid variant. The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up 1.8%, with auto and travel and leisure stocks leading gains of more than 3%, while all sectors and major bourses were in positive territory. The final November Eurozone manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 58.4, up slightly from October’s 58.3 but below the initial estimate of 58.6.
- The major U.S. averages fell sharply on Wednesday, giving up solid gains after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of Omicron in the US. Travel industry stocks were the biggest losers after the first case was announced on U.S. shores. American Airlines fell nearly 8%, Delta Air Lines fell 7.3% and United Airlines dropped 7.5%. Aerospace company Boeing lost 4.8%. Retailers also suffered losses on Wednesday. Nordstrom closed down 5.3% and Kohl’s lost 5.6%. Best Buy and Macy’s fell 4.3% and 4.6%, respectively.
- Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region struggled to find direction this morning as concerns over the economic impact of the omicron covid variant continue to weigh on investor sentiment. Shares of Razer fell more than 12% in choppy trading. The company said a consortium has made a bid to take it private at a price of HK$2.82 per share, about 5.62% higher than Razer’s closing price on Wednesday. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4%. Australia’s trade surplus in October was 11.22 billion Australian dollars (about $7.97 billion) on a seasonally adjusted basis, official data showed.
In International news
Razer shares fall more than 8% after a group including its co-founder offers to take the company private
Shares of Razer are down more than 8% this morning after a consortium that includes co-founder Tan Min-Liang, made an offer to take the Hong Kong-listed gaming hardware company private. The consortium, which includes private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, has offered to pay up to 10.79 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.38 billion) to buy all remaining shares, according to a regulatory filing. Under the deal, the group would buy those shares at 2.82 Hong Kong dollars apiece, a 5.6% premium to Razer’s closing price on Wednesday. The company said the offer price is final and will not be increased. Razer, which makes laptops, PC peripherals and other products for gamers, went public in 2017 with an initial public offering price of 3.88 Hong Kong dollars per share.
Covid: Trigger for rare blood clots found with AstraZeneca vaccine by scientists
Scientists believe they have found “the trigger” that leads to extremely rare blood clots after the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. The team – based in Cardiff and the US – have shown in exquisite detail how a protein in the blood is attracted to a key component of the vaccine. They believe this triggers a chain reaction involving the immune system that can lead to dangerous blood clots. The vaccine is believed to have saved about a million lives from covid. However, concerns about rare blood clots influenced the way the vaccine is used around the world, including an alternative offered to under-40s in the UK. It also started a scientific detective hunt to find out what was going on and whether it could be prevented.