Global Equity Markets are Muted as Traders Awaits Key Economic Numbers

Asian markets closed modestly on Wednesday as traders eye key economic data to be released this week and cautious as omicron cases continues to surge globally.

MSCI Asia ex Japan inched up on Wednesday by 1.24%. The SET, KOSPI, TOPIX, CSI300 and HSI closed inching up moderately by 0.28%, 0.32%, 0.09%, 0.02% and 0.57% respectively.

Omicron concerns lead to Thailand and Singapore halting quarantine free travel. Although U.S. is maintaining a optimistic approach despite surging omicron infections, several European countries are considering to impose restrictions during the holiday celebrations.

AstraZeneca Plc said on Tuesday it is working with Oxford University to produce a vaccine for the Omicron COVID-19 variant, joining other vaccine markers who are looking to develop the variant specific vaccine.

European markets are muted with STOXX600 inched up only by 0.09%.

Earlier U.K. GDP number for the third quarter came in as lower than expected.

U.S. index futures are in the red with S&P500 down by 0.19% while Nasdaq and Dow Jones futures are down by 0.36% and 0.08% respectively.

Key economic data, third quarter GDP growth and inflation data are due on Wednesday along with PCE prices.

U.S. Energy Information Administration will also be releasing weekly data on oil, gasoline and fuel stocks on Wednesday as well.

Crude oil futures WTI and Brent are flat trading at $71.41 and $74.23 respectively.