Back in Monday’s Asian session wrap, I gave a quick outline of the bullish case being made for the new mutation of coronavirus.
- While it is likely that Omicron is more transmissible, early reports suggest it may also be less deadly – which would fit into the pattern of virus evolution observed historically.
- If a less severe and more transmissible virus quickly crowds out more severe variants, could the Omicron variant be a catalyst to transform a deadly pandemic into something more similar to seasonal flu? That development would fit with historical patterns (duration and number of waves) of previous respiratory virus pandemics, especially given the broad availability of vaccines and new therapeutics that are expected to work on all known variants (Pfizer, Merck).
A complicating factor in the market response to the new variant is Fed Chair Powell’s pivot to less dovish, that is likely to have great implications than this flurry of concern over this new variant.