SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a lower open on Monday as investors in Asia monitor developments surrounding the recently discovered omicron Covid variant.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,365, against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,751.62.

Shares in Australia slipped in morning trade as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.89%.

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Oil prices surge more than 2%

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 2.9% to $74.83 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 3.54% to $70.56 per barrel. On Friday, oil saw its worst day of 2021 amid renewed Covid fears.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.251 after a recent drop from above 96.4.The Japanese yen, widely seen as a safe-haven currency, traded at 113.74 per dollar after strengthening sharply late last week from above 114.8 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.714, having dropped last week from above $0.725.



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