International News and Market Update: TikTok jumps on the online shopping bandwagon, and more

 International News and Market Update: TikTok jumps on the online shopping bandwagon, and more

International News and Market Update.

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– European stocks closed weaker on Wednesday as investors continued to digest the latest news surrounding the omicron covid variant. After choppy trading, the pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed down 0.6% on Wednesday, with retail stocks leading the losses with a 1.9% drop. The negative sentiment in Europe comes after a strong session on Tuesday as global markets rallied as concerns over the potential severity of the omicidal variant eased.

– U.S. stocks were slightly higher on Wednesday as investors continued to bet that the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 would not be as threatening as many had previously thought. Some of the upside was confirmed by vaccine news on Wednesday. Pfizer and BioNTech said three doses of their vaccine effectively neutralized the Omicron variant, citing their own preliminary lab tests. They also said that two doses can still protect against severe disease. Many had already expected the new variant to be manageable, an expectation that contributed to Monday’s rally and subsequent rally on Tuesday.

– Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed this morning as investors assessed the risks associated with the omicron Covid variant. In Australia, the ASX 200 slipped 0.09% as the energy and commodities sub-indices fell 0.52% and 0.27% respectively. Shares in major mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP fell 0.61% and 0.96%. Trading in shares of Suncity Group and its unit Summit Ascent Holdings was suspended. The Hong Kong stock exchange did not provide further details on the suspension. This comes days after Suncity’s chief executive was arrested for alleged links to cross-border gambling, Reuters reported.

Australia shuts down Victoria Big Battery powered by Tesla megapacks

One of the world’s largest battery-based energy storage systems, powered by Tesla’s Megapack batteries, began operating in the Australian state of Victoria on Wednesday. Large energy storage systems based on lithium-ion batteries have the potential to prevent power outages and allow utilities to store and use more energy from renewable but erratic sources such as solar or wind. Paris-based renewable energy giant Neoen developed the plant with partners Tesla Energy and AusNet, with part of the construction handled by Cimic Group’s UGL. According to the project’s website, the plant has enough capacity to power a million homes for half an hour.

TikTok jumps on the online shopping bandwagon

Social media platform TikTok is making a big move into shopping. The video-sharing app is famous for its short lip-syncing videos, dance routines and humor. And its popularity has skyrocketed during the pandemic. On Wednesday, TikTok hosted its first live shopping and entertainment event where people could buy products directly from the platform, capitalizing on the rise of “social shopping.” “We think this is a really significant moment. E-commerce is a huge opportunity for TikTok and we are investing heavily in this space,” said Rich Waterworth, TikTok general manager, UK and EU. Whether it’s sportswear or makeup, consumers are increasingly browsing, discovering and buying items on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. TikTok, which launched in the UK in 2018, is now trying to catch up.

Mandy Nunes

Mandy Nunes is the Chief Marketing Officer for GV Markets. With 15 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry within the South African market, she has held various responsibilities within the business development, marketing, operations and regulatory space – leading to a very fitting position within the Trading and Investment environment. Mandy has notably been the editor of 'The Ordinary Millionaire', along with having written numerous pieces within the industry at large. Holding both legal and wealth management qualifications, her goal is to bring about massive success for, and within, GV Markets. GV Markets is a South African forex and CFD broker that offers comprehensive trading solutions to both retail and professional traders. GV Markets prides itself in being a well-regulated and reputable STP brokerage that works according to a No-Dealing Desk trading model, offering traders access to some of the best liquidity providers in the country.

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