WHO says it is not yet clear if Omicron causes more severe disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that it is not yet clear if the new Omicron coronavirus variant is more transmissible compared to other SARS-CoV-2 variants or if it causes more severe disease.

Amazon exec says Omicron’s impact on holiday spending uncertain

A senior Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) executive said it remains too early to predict how the Omicron coronavirus variant will impact consumer spending during the holiday season but suggested that shoppers will press ahead for now.

Japan Oct retail sales boosted by fuel-price spike, broad trend still soft

Japan’s retail sales rose for the first time in three months in October, though less than expected, and the underlying private consumption trend pointed to persistent strains on a fragile economic recovery despite an easing of COVID-19 curbs.

Currencies recover from Omicron chaos but analysts warn more volatility ahead

Currency markets calmed on Monday in Asia after the initial shock of the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant sent investors scurrying for cover last week, but analysts warned of more volatility with little still known about the new strain.

It’s raining dividends, hallelujah! Canadian banks set to post strong results

Canada’s top six banks are expected to resume raising dividends and share buybacks after nearly a two-year hiatus and report strong quarterly earnings this week, which could boost the sector’s appeal to yield-hungry investors even as stocks trade close to all-time highs.

Japan joins Israel in barring foreigners as Omicron worries spread

Japan said on Monday it would close its borders to foreigners, as the world’s third-largest economy joined Israel in taking the toughest measures against the new coronavirus variant Omicron, which also cast a cloud over Australia’s re-opening plans.

UK sets out plans to boost global digital trade

Improving digital trade would provide huge opportunities for British businesses and help boost economic growth, the government’s Board of Trade said, setting out how it aims to become a world leader in modern services and online goods.

Analysis: In Japan, a weaker yen may not be the blessing it once was

A weak yen, once seen as favourable for Japan’s exports-focused economy, has now become a pain point as it eats into household finances and confounds policymakers.