Asian shares rise with Hong Kong Hang Seng Index ,hsi,
fell 2.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 ,N225,
was down 2.5%. European markets also witnessed heavy selling in the open, with major indices including the FTSE 100, France’s CAC40 and Germany’s DAX falling nearly 3%.
US markets, which were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving, were slammed ahead of the start of Friday’s short trading session. doe ,Inappropriate,
Futures fell nearly 700 points, down 2%. futures for S&P 500 ,INX,
And Nasdaq ,NS,
were down 1.6% and 1%, respectively.
US crude fell 5% to around $74 a barrel. Global oil benchmark Brent crude fell 4.3%.
Jeffrey Haley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA, said in a research note on Friday that investors were “scared” by the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa.
South Africa’s health minister said on Thursday that a new form of coronavirus is spreading rapidly in some parts of the country.
It has also been detected in Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel.
UK Health Minister Sajid Javid “may be more transmissible” than the delta strain and “the vaccines we currently have may be less effective.” The new strain has already inspired UK government
To ban flights from six African countries.
Travel and airline stocks were the biggest losers on Friday.
“Considering the delta wave from earlier this year, investors are likely to shoot first and ask questions later until more is known about it,” Haley said.
— Rob North contributed to this article.