European markets have come under significant selling pressure today, slipping back in the wake of the tepid rebound seen on Monday, although we have recovered off the lows, with the FTSE100 briefly slipping below the 7,000 level.

Investors were spooked early on by an interview with the FT given by Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, which wasn’t particularly different from several others given over the last 24 hours.

The focus appears to have been on the remarks that he sees a material drop in the efficacy of the vaccine and that according to him, various scientists have said it’s “not going to be good”.

With market sentiment as fragile as it currently is and putting to one side that a lot more testing still needs to be done on this variant, this comes across as a remarkably careless thing to say this early on, even allowing for the fact that he’s the CEO of a company that is not only producing the vaccine but has made a huge amount of money out of doing so.

On the other side of the argument, Oxford University was far less contentious, saying that there is no evidence yet that vaccines won’t protect against severe disease from Omicron, and more testing needed to be done, which is surely the main point. While the vaccines may not be 100% effective, even if they limit the severity of the disease then surely, they are still doing their job.

Quite simply, at this point, it's too early to be certain, and maybe the best advice we should give to CEOs of pharma companies is to keep it shut, unless they have something other than conjecture at this point.

Unfortunately, markets tend not to do nuance, and while we’ve seen a recovery off the low’s sentiment remains fragile. The recovery off the lows of the day may well be due to reports out of South Africa that so far, the variant has been of the mild variety, with no hospitalizations so far to speak of, with similar reports out of Europe and the UK.

Oil prices have also come back under pressure as concern over a demand slowdown in the wake of tighter restrictions, which has seen the likes of BP and Shell act as the biggest drag on the FTSE100, while basic resource stocks are higher, led by Anglo American, Evraz and BHP on the back of firmer metals prices.

AstraZeneca shares are also lower over concern its own vaccine may not work as well either, however, Oxford University has said it can be modified quickly if needed. easyJet shares have slipped back after the airline reported a £1bn loss for the fiscal year 2021, though the declines are more to do with the fact that the whole travel and leisure sector has come under pressure today because of concerns about how quickly the current uncertainty will affect the travel sector as we look towards 2022. British Airways owner IAG is also lower.


US markets have opened sharply lower, taking their cues from today’s European market session, as the fallout from the Moderna CEO’s comments continue to weigh on the market, with his own company’s shares getting hit along with BioNTech.

Airlines are also under pressure, along with hotels, American Airlines, and Marriott lower, with the stay-at-home names of Netflix and Zoom on the rise.

Banks are also under pressure as yields once again slide back with the US 10-year yield sliding to a three-week low, with a drop below 1.4%, and the 100-day MA potentially triggering further weakness.


It’s been a rather mixed day for the US dollar with the euro amongst the best performers after November CPI surged to a record high of 4.9% from 4.1% in October, with core prices rising to 2.6%, up from 2%. This sharp rise in inflation is starting to cause significant credibility issues for the ECB, and while given the current uncertainty around Omicron, one can perhaps justify an element of caution, some of the price surges being seen across Europe do warrant concern.

With factory gate prices rising by over 20% on an annualized basis, as they are in Italy, Germany, and Spain speak to supply chains that are creaking horribly. It's simply not good enough for ECB officials to simply shrug and say this too shall pass.

One thing does appear certain, any prospect that we might see changes in central bank policy in December from the likes of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England is probably for the birds, which also helps explain the pounds recent underperformance, with the current uncertainty likely to give the Bank of England cover to do what they do best, nothing! This stance appeared to be confirmed by external MPC member Catherine Mann in comments made earlier today, when she said it was too early to talk about rate hike timings, much less by how much.


Brent crude oil prices have slipped below their 200-day MA for the first time in over a year, as negative sentiment continues to weigh on prices, with prices hitting a three-month low. Gold prices have risen back above the $1,800 level on the back of today’s risk aversion and the slide in US yields.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Feed news

Latest Forex Analysis

Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD hovers around 1.1150 ahead of German GDP, US inflation

EUR/USD is trading around 1.1150, attempting a bounce from 119-months lows of 1.1132. The US dollar eases from multi-month highs amid a return of risk appetite and firmer Treasury yields. US advance Q4 GDP beat estimates with 6.9% YoY. German Prelim GDP and US PCE inflation awaited.


GBP/USD regains 1.3400 on Brexit optimism, US PCE eyed

GBP/USD is extending its rebound from five-week lows above 1.3400 amid an upbeat mood. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss eyes significant progress in Brexit talks by February. Report over UK PM Johnson’s future leadership deferred. US PCE inflation in focus. 


Gold rebounds ahead of US PCE inflation, not out of the woods yet Premium

Gold price attempts a bounce as the US dollar retreats ahead of US PCE inflation. After Wednesday’s $40 sell-off, gold price tumbled another $23 on Thursday, as bulls finally surrendered the $1,800 area to hit the lowest level in two weeks at $1,792. 

Gold News

Why Bitcoin has entered a new bear market

Bitcoin price has tumbled to a multi-month low below $33,000, as the leading cryptocurrency loses 50% of its value from its all-time high in November 2021. This marks the second-worst sell-off since the bear market that spanned from 2018 to 2020. 

Read more

US PCE Inflation Preview: Dollar rally has more legs to run Premium

Annual Core PCE inflation is forecast to rise to 4.8% in December from 4.7%. US Dollar Index surged to its highest level in more than a year on Fed's hawkish outlook.  Dollar is likely to continue to outperform its rivals in the near term.

Read more