SET Drops 14Pts in the Afternoon as Moderna Warns of Vaccine Efficacy against Omicron

The Thai stock market fell dramatically in late afternoon trade today after Moderna’s CEO stated that current COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant.

As of 14.52 hrs. local time in Thailand, SET Index dropped 14.21 points or 0.89% to 1,575.48 points with a trading value of THB94,319 million; the market’s crash was consistent with that of other regional markets. 

Nikkei fell 1.63%, Hang Seng Index slipped 1.56%, and Korea’s KOSPI plunged 2.42%.

Kasikorn Securities (KS) said that Chief Executive of Moderna – Stephane Bancel’s prediction that existing vaccines will be significantly less effective against the Omicron strain would result in a pull out of capital from risk assets to safe haven assets.

Soon after the statement was released, Dow Futures plunged around 400-500 points, while WTI crude fell 3.5%.

Mr. Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, told the Financial Times in an exclusive interview that existing vaccines will be far less effective against the Omicron variant than against earlier strains. He addressed how the existing vaccines would perform against Omicron and whether the variant that causes severe diseases would be available within two weeks after data comes in hand. 

Mr. Bancel also stated that due to the virus’s high mutation rate, the current vaccines may need to be modified next year.

Meanwhile, Capital Nomura Securities (CNS)’s analyst team forecasted that the investors would move toward more safe haven assets as concerns rise over the newest COVID-19 variant, Omicron. Recommend investing in gold.

Risk assets are likely to subside globally, as shown by the Dow Futures and Asian markets, which sank into negative territory during the afternoon session.  

CNS suggests investing in Gold Futures and 10Y US Bond Yield for the investment theme, based on the afternoon trend toward safe haven.