Nervy week for markets ends with wild swings on new South African Covid strain – The National

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Gulf
  • Date: 26-Nov-2021
  • Source: The National
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Country: Gulf
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Nervy week for markets ends with wild swings on new South African Covid strain – The National

Investors dumped risk assets and flocked to havens on Friday as a new variant of coronavirus made its presence known in global markets.

Fears the variant first discovered in South Africa may spread internationally – thwarting the global economic recovery – pushed Treasuries and the yen higher, while the rand fell to its lowest in a year. Asian stocks and US equity futures dropped amid the risk-off tone and crude oil retreated.

While researchers are yet to determine whether the B.1.1529 variant is more transmissible or lethal than previous ones, authorities around the world have been quick to act. The UK and Israel temporarily banned flights from South Africa and five neighbouring countries as a precautionary measure. Hong Kong confirmed two cases of the new strain in travellers arriving in the city, the government said Thursday evening.

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