Stock market sink on news about new coronavirus variant
Global stock markets failed to fully recover from the recent slump caused by the new Omicron coronavirus strain. The news about the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 led to a tumble in the leading stock exchanges of South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and even Europe.
Markets nosedived after the announcement that the new virus strain was found in South Africa. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the existing vaccines will hardly protect people from Omicron. A bit later, confirmed cases of the Omicron variant were recorded in Hong Kong and the Republic of Botswana. Some countries have already banned flights to these and other African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Eswatini. As a result, markets showed a significant drop. Thus, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 2.53%, China’s SSE Composite declined by 0.56%, South Korea’s KOSPI slid by 1.47%, and the MOEX Russia index decreased by 2.74%. Euro STOXX 50, the main index of the European stock exchange, tumbled by 3.669%. The news also hit the US dollar. Analysts fear that the spread of the new strain may suspend the QE tapering that is widely expected by markets.
According to the preliminary data, Omicron is highly infectious. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the Omicron COVID-19 variant might spread among fully vaccinated people.
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