SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a higher start on Tuesday as investors in Asia-Pacific continue to monitor the situation surrounding the omicron Covid variant.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,260 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,210. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,937.81.

Shares in Australia rose in morning trade as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1%.

Investors will continue tracking the situation around the omicron variant, which has cast a shadow over the festive holiday period as curbs have already been introduced in countries across Europe.

Global stocks tumbled on Monday as concerns surrounding the fast-spreading omicron strain weighed on investor sentiment.

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Overnight stateside, the major averages dropped more than 1% each amid the uncertainty around omicron. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 433.28 points, or 1.23%, to 34,932.16 while the S&P 500 shed 1.14% to 4,568.02. The Nasdaq Composite declined 1.24% to 14,980.94.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.505 — off levels above 96.6 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.60 per dollar, stronger than levels above 114 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7107, still struggling to recover after last week’s decline from above $0.72.

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