Bulls back in charge as Omicron worries wane
Hong Kong stocks jumped 2.7 percent as sentiments lifted. /CFP

Hong Kong stocks jumped 2.7 percent as sentiments lifted. /CFP

Waning Omicron COVID-19 variant worries and a timely booster shot of Chinese stimulus lifted world stock markets and oil prices on Tuesday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index was on track for its first back-to-back run of plus 1 percent gains since February while Asia saw record bounces from some of China's biggest firms such as Alibaba and Baidu.

Hong Kong stocks jumped 2.7 percent and Tokyo won 1.9 percent, but Shanghai was only marginally higher.

The risk-on mood also helped the dollar climb against safe haven currencies such as the Japanese yen, which had lost 0.6 percent overnight.

World stocks and oil prices had tanked on November 26 when news of the new variant first flashed across traders' screens.

"Early assessments of Omicron cases have been declared mild, spurring half-full relief," Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, said in a note.

Oil prices jumped another 2 percent to $74.60 a barrel, adding to a near 5 percent rebound the day before as concerns about the impact of Omicron on global fuel demand eased.

The gains also came after China's central bank on Monday injected its second shot of stimulus since July by cutting the amount of cash that banks must hold in reserve. The move is set to release 1.2 trillion yuan ($190 billion) in long-term liquidity.

(With input from agencies)

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