Asian stocks slide as Omicron hits trading

Asian stocks slide as Omicron hits trading

TOKYO, Japan -- Holiday thin trading saw bourses in Asia lose ground on Monday.

The stock exchanges in Australia and Hong Kong were closed for the Christmas holidays.

Omicron took the blame for Monday's losses, as thousands of flights around the world were canceled, disrupting travel plans for a hesitant public.

Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia Pacific market analyst at OANDA, said that Omicron cases are surging in the U.S. and Europe, and markets have well and truly priced in a less virulent strain.

The recovery story for 2022 is still on track, and that is likely to cause short-term nerves. At the close of Monday, the Nikkei 225 in Japan was off 106.13 points or 0.37 percent at 28,676. The Kospi Composite was down 12.88 points or 0.43 percent in Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. dollar was mixed during the Adian trading zone. The euro was little changed at 1.1327 in late trading in Tokyo. The British pound was up to 1.3401. The Japanese yen has softened to 114.47. The SWiss franc was little changed at 0.9190.

The Australian dollar was in a tight range around 0.7222. The New Zealand dollar was a bit weaker at 0.6810.