Some pretty grim reading to start your Friday, I’m afraid as news of the new Covid super variant sends shock waves through the markets.
Although little is known about the B.1.1529 variant – first discovered in South Africa – warnings that it is the most dangerous mutation ever seen have been enough to scare investors.
In addition to the sharp fall in Asian equities, US futures fell and crude oil lost ground. US government bonds and the yen have both pushed up, while the South African rand fell to its lowest level in a year.
5 things to start your day
1) M&S under fire over the plan to demolish the flagship Marble Arch store Critics say it risks emerging ‘ugly spreadsheet architecture’
2) More EU citizens left the UK last year than arrived for the first time in three decades Net migration emerges as pandemic restrictions and post-Brexit rules come into force
3) The Bank of England museum hosts the slavery exhibition Portraits of former governors linked to the slave trade will be displayed when the Banking Museum reopens
4) Huel pins lined up for hundreds of millions from £ 1bn Julian Hearn has a share of 53 percent. in the company of beverages that replace meals
5) Energy Watchdog faces ‘serious questions’ over a number of supplier breakdowns Two more energy providers stopped trading on Thursday, affecting another 70,000 households
What happened overnight
Shares fell and were heading for their biggest weekly decline in nearly two months on Friday, while safe-haven assets such as bonds and the yen rose like a new virus variant, raising concerns about future growth and higher US interest rates.
South Africa’s rand fell 1 per cent. in early trading, and so did US.crude futures. S&P 500 futures fell 0.4 percent, while risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars fell to a three-month low.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.7 percent. in early trading, and Australian equities fell 0.6 per cent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific equities outside Japan fell 0.2% to a weekly decline of 1%.
- Corporation: No company releases are planned today
- Economy: Money supply (ME)