Global stocks tumble as new Covid variant troubles investors 

US equities, along with stocks worldwide, are down on Friday as investors took their money out of companies with exposure to the pandemic upon the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus seen in southern Africa.

The S&P 500 is down 1.85% less than two hours into Friday’s session, while the Nasdaq Composite has shedded 1.43%.

The Covid situation has escalated pretty rapidly over the past 24 hours as countries ponder measures to allay the spread of the new strain first identified in Botswana.

The new variant “was slowly starting to gather increasing attention but overnight it has begun to dominate markets,” Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank, told the Financial Times.

In London, the FTSE 100 dropped 3.2%, with airlines specifically seeing big downturns. IAG, Lufthansa and Airbus each saw their stock valuations fall by around 10%.

France’s CAC 40 index and Germany’s Dax were down by 3.9% and 3.1% respectively.

Politicians have been doing their utmost to bring down the price of oil and it would seem there is a solution.

Crude oil and Brent crude are down by 6.5% and 5.6% respectively on Friday, reaching two-month lows.

The B.1.1.529 Sars-Cov-2 variant is said to be responsible for a rise in cases in southern Africa in the past week.

It is particularly of concern to health officials due to its ability to evade vaccines while spreading at a quicker rate than the Delta variant.

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