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).
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”.
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.
“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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