Stock markets mostly extended a New Year rally Wednesday but oil prices slid further as investors weighed China’s reopening moves against its surging Covid cases. Gold prices reached the highest level since June, at $1,865.12 an ounce, as traders sought safety in the traditional haven commodity. Crude prices slumped 2.6 percent, having plunged more than four percent Tuesday, also owing to a mild European winter and a pick-up in the dollar that makes crude more expensive for holders of other currencies. In addition, “rising Chinese Covid infections could weigh on demand in the immediate term”, said Warren Patterson at ING Groep. He added that the long-term outlook remained better as growth picked up. China’s shift out of almost three years of zero-Covid has been widely welcomed, but the breakneck speed at which authorities have lifted restrictions has led to an explosion of cases across the country, dealing another battering to economic activity. Analysts said concerns about the impact of the mass outbreak were playing off against optimism that the long-term outlook was positive as infections eventually come down and businesses restart. Hong Kong led stock market advances Wednesday, while Shanghai enjoyed a second straight day of gains. Tokyo dropped heavily on its first trading day of the year, with Japanese exporters continuing to be hit by a recovering yen.