Scientists say the variant, detected in South Africa, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong, has an unusual combination of mutations, can evade immune responses and could be more transmissible.
British authorities believe it is the most important variant to date and were quick to impose travel restrictions on travelers from southern African countries, as did Japan, the Czech Republic and Italy on Friday. The European Union also said it intends to stop air travel from the region.
“The bottom line is that this shows that Covid-19 is still the investor narrative, much of the current movement is driven by the South African variant.”said Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments in Port Chester, New York.
Brent oil and WTI futures fell as much as 10% on new demand fears.
With investors rushing to take positions in safe haven assets, the yen was soaring 1.58% against the dollar at 113.53 yen. The dollar index was down 0.59%, and the euro was up 0.75% at $ 1.129.
Sharp fall in the main European indices
The European stock markets collapsed this Friday, dragged by the fear of a great paralysis of the global economy linked to the new variant of covid-19.
The FTSE 100 index of the London Stock Exchange closed down 3.6% (7,044.03 points). Paris and Frankfurt also closed in red. The CAC 40 of the Parisian stock market lost 4.8% to 6,739.73 points and the Frankfurt Dax index closed at 15,257.69 units (-4.2%). The Madrid Stock Exchange closed at 8,402.70 points, with a fall of 4.96%.
Source From: Ambito