U.S. Markets Cool Down; Pfizer Promises Results against Omicron

U.S. stocks moved down after rallying for two days back to back. This is following the S&P 500 index’s biggest two-day rally in more than a year.

Travel shares mostly maintained gains, with airlines stocks moving higher. However, losses in FMCG and financials pushed the market slightly lower. 

Stoxx Europe is up by 0.55%
Dow Jones is down by 0.25%
NASDAQ is up by 0.15%

Philippines Looking For $6 Billion Central Bank Loan In 2022

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the Philippine government is looking for a 300-billion peso (Rs 44,974 crores) loan from the central bank next year. The government will fully repay its outstanding 540-billion peso provisional advances at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the central bank of the Philippines) on Dec. 10, before the maturity on Jan. 12, 2022, maturity. The smaller loan amount indicates that the economy is in a strong recovery phase.

China’s Yuan Hits Three-Year High

China’s Yuan on Wednesday marked the strongest level since May 2018, in the middle of analysts saying that the nation’s economy will remain strong on monetary stimulus. The Chinese Yuan gained more than 0.25% to 6.342 per dollar. Traders are more confident in China’s growth after the central bank announced broad monetary easing this week. The Yuan is one of the best performers among major currencies this year with a gain of 2.7%.

Three-ShotBioNTech, Pfizer Vaccine Can Neutralises Omicron 

BioNTech and Pfizer said on Wednesday during the lab test it was found that a three-shot of their COVID-19 vaccine has the ability to neutralize the new Omicron variant. If needed, both the companies expect to deliver an Omicron-based vaccine in March 2022. BioNTech and Pfizer also mentioned that two doses of vaccine are weaker against the variant.

McDonald’s Offers Low-Cost Loans To Boost Diversity Among Its Franchisees

Fast food firm McDonald’s Corp said on Wednesday that it will provide $250 million of low-cost, short-term loans over five years in the US to boost diversity among its franchisees. The company has plans to increase its franchisee recruiting and development efforts globally. The franchisees should have at least $500,000 of liquid assets before they can even apply for the program. The investment required ranges from $1 million to just over $2.2 million.

China’s Weibo Falls 7.2% in Its First Day of Trade in Hong Kong

Shares of China’s Twitter-like website Weibo Corp. fell in their first day of trading in Hong Kong, signaling continued investor caution toward the internet sector amid Beijing’s market-damping regulatory moves. Weibo declined 7.2% to finish at HK$253.20 on Wednesday, versus the HK$272.80 listing price. Shares were set at a discount of about 2.8% versus the close of their American depositary receipts on Dec. 1. 

Giant Tesla Battery Site That Caught Fire Now Open in Australia

The giant energy storage facility in Australia that experienced a major fire during testing of its systems using Tesla Inc. batteries has been brought into full operation. Neoen SA’s Victorian Big Battery near Geelong in southeastern Australia, one of the world’s largest storage projects, has capacity of 300 megawatts and will help improve reliability of power supply during the southern hemisphere summer, the local state government said Wednesday in a statement.