Equities and oil are plunging as the new COVID-19 variant fears global markets are crashing

Shares fell and oil prices fell more than 10 percent on Friday as the emergence of one the COVID-19 variant rattled global markets.
The Asian markets led the way, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index falling 2.7 per cent. Japan‘s Nikkei 225 fell 2.5 percent. European the markets also sold out strongly, with major indices including the FTSE100, France’s CAC40 and Germany’s DAX falling between 3 percent and 4 percent.
U.S markets, which were closed Thursday due to Thanksgiving, were also slammed during Friday’s shortened trading session. Dow futures fell more than 900 points, or about 2.5 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell nearly 2 percent.
Shares tumble while fears of new Covid-19 variant grip global markets.
Shares tumble while fears of new Covid-19 variant grip global markets. (Getty)

US oil futures fell more than 11 percent to trade below $ 70 ($ 98.15) per share. barrel. Brent Crude Oil, the global benchmark for oil, suffered a similar drop to around $ 73 ($ 102).

South AfricaThe health minister said on Thursday that a new variant of coronavirus appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of the country. It has also been discovered in Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.

British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the variant “may be more transmissible” than the Delta strain and that “the vaccines we currently have may be less effective”.

People queue to get cash at a bank in a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday, November 26, 2021.
South Africa’s health minister said on Thursday that a new variant of coronavirus appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of the country (AP)

Investors were “shocked” by the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant, Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific in Oanda, said in a research note on Friday.

Economists are already nervously seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections in Europe. Some countries have introduced new restrictions to limit diversification, increasing the prospect of reduced activity this winter at a time when inflation and supply chain problems are already blurring the outlook for growth.

Germany reported 76,414 cases on Friday, a new record for a single day. The country’s acting health minister, Jens Spahn, told reporters that the COVID-19 situation in Europe’s largest economy was “more serious than at any other time in the pandemic so far”, and he warned of “drastic measures in the coming weeks” if it becomes essential. no measures are being taken now to reduce contact between people.

Passengers depart on international arrivals at Hearhtow Airport in London on Friday 26 November 2021.
Travel and aviation stocks are among the biggest falls on Friday after a number of countries began imposing travel bans (AP)

“In addition to the current wave of infections in core Europe, a new variant of … viruses that are spreading rapidly in South Africa raises serious concerns,” Berenberg Bank economists commented in a note on Friday.

“If Germany were to impose a national lockdown, we would probably have to downgrade our forecasts for Germany’s and the eurozone’s GDP for Q4 a little further,” they added.

Travel and aviation stocks are among the biggest falls on Friday.

“With the delta wave in mind from earlier this year, investors are likely to shoot first and ask questions later until more is known about it,” Halley said.

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