You are here: Home - Investing - Experienced Investor - News -

Moderna CEO pessimism on Omicron derails markets – AJ Bell

Written by:
Moderna drugs boss Stephane Bancel said existing vaccines ‘will struggle’ with the Omicron variant, which triggered a sell off in shares and oil prices today.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould, said: “Markets hate uncertainty, and this is precisely what we have now. No one knows how much trouble the new variant is going to cause, and so it seems plausible that we will see heightened volatility on the markets until there is adequate data to better understand the lay of the land.

“However, in the bigger scheme of things, today’s sell-off could have been a lot worse. European markets were down one per cent or less. That’s become a normal day’s movement on many occasions over the past year or so.”

Mould said the biggest contributor to the FTSE 100’s 0.8 per cent decline in points terms was pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, possibly due to the Moderna boss warning.

He added: “Though it would be far too premature to see that happen immediately given the lack of sufficient data to prove Stéphane Bancel’s theory.”



The travel industry’s woes have been well documented and Easyjet’s £1.1bn pre-tax loss makes for uncomfortable reading, said Mould.

“That’s the stark reality of the airline industry at present. The airline sector saw a flurry of activity this summer and then again during the October half term as travel restrictions began to ease and consumers felt more comfortable flying. A lot of people will have missed their usual summer foreign holiday for two years in a row so there is a feeling that summer 2022 could be a bumper period for companies like Easyjet.

“Fortunately [Easyjet] raised £1.2bn a few months ago and has enough money to see it through another difficult patch. But what happens if we get variant after variant of Covid-19? There are only so many times that shareholders will bail out airlines with another cash injection,” he added.

He suggested that consolidation appears inevitable.

“Easyjet has already been subject to a takeover approach thought to be from Wizz Air, and it is no doubt in the sight of other players like International Consolidated Airlines.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Big flu jab price hikes this winter: Where’s cheapest if you can’t get a free vaccine?

Pharmacies, supermarkets and health retailers are starting to offer flu jabs ahead of the winter season, but t...

Is now the time to fix your energy deal?

Fixed energy tariffs all but disappeared during the energy crisis. But now they are back with an increasing nu...

Octopus steps in to buy Shell Energy – what customers need to know

The deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will take Octopus Energy’s retail supply ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

The best student bank accounts in 2023: Cash offers, tastecards and 0% overdrafts

A number of banks are luring in new student customers with cold hard cash this year – while others are compe...

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Money Tips of the Week