From the Wall Street Journal’s “Stock Futures, Oil Drop on Concerns Over New Covid-19 Variant” posted early Friday:
Global equity markets and U.S. stock futures fell after South Africa raised the alarm over a new, fast-spreading strain of the coronavirus, triggering concern about the potential for new travel restrictions or other curbs that could limit economic activity.
With U.S. stocks set for a shortened trading session after a one-day Thanksgiving break, market participants said the global moves were likely amplified by thin trading volumes…
South Africa’s government said Thursday it was considering new public-health restrictions to contain the new variant, dubbed B. 1.1.529. Scientists say it has a high number of mutations that may make it more transmissible and allow it to evade some of the immune responses triggered by previous infection or vaccination. The variant has been detected in a South African traveler in Hong Kong. The South African rand weakened sharply against the dollar, with $1 buying about 16.3 rand.
In Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index stood 2.7% lower, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed down 2.5%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 pulled back 1.8%.
“Everybody seems to be panicking about this new variant that is cropping up out of South Africa,” said Rob Carnell, the head of research and chief economist for the Asia-Pacific region at ING.
Charts: Yahoo!Finance sees a bearish fast stochastic pattern. Max pain is at $157.50 with a call peak at $165. Updated 7:30 a.m. Eastern: