European stocks have suffered the sharpest decline since last June. The pan-European stock index STOXX Europe 600 depreciated 3.67 percent and closed at 464.05 points. He lost about 4.5 percent in the whole week.
The US Dow Jones index recorded the deepest decline since last October. The Dow Jones, which includes shares of 30 leading US companies, depreciated 2.53 percent and closed at 34,899.34 points. The broader S&P 500 fell 2.27 percent to 4,594.62 points, while the Nasdaq Composite Index, which includes many high-tech companies, lost 2.23 percent to 15,491.66 points.
This new variant of the virus comes at the worst possible time, because Europe and some northern parts of the United States are in a tense situation due to the already high numbers of new cases and hospitalizations.
“This new variant of the virus comes at the worst possible time, because Europe and some northern parts of the United States are in a tense situation due to the already high number of new cases and hospitalizations,” said analyst Peter Garnry of Saxo Bank. “The shares react negatively because it is not yet known to what extent they will be effective against the new variant of the vaccine, which increases the risk of new closures,” he added.
The fall in prices did not avoid the market for a key commodity – oil. Its prices have fallen sharply since last April due to fears of a new coronavirus mutation. Brent North Sea crude fell 11.6 percent to close at $ 72.72 a barrel. The price of US light oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell by 13.1 percent to $ 68.15 per barrel.
The new version of coronavirus, called B.1.1.529, is spreading rapidly in South Africa’s most populous province, and scientists say it is worrying. It carries an extraordinary number of mutations, and could thus be more aggressive than previous variants. Many countries are already responding by banning flights from the affected area.
The main index of German DAX shares depreciated 4.15 percent to 15,257.04 points. The French CAC 40 index fell 4.75 percent to 6739.73 points, while the London Stock Exchange FTSE 100 index fell 3.64 percent to 7044.03 points.
Businesses in the tourism, entertainment, banking and energy sectors played a large role in Friday’s decline on European and American stock exchanges.
European stocks of companies in these sectors as a whole fell by almost nine percent. They experienced the worst day since last March. Shares of oil and gas producers also weakened sharply in Europe, as did shares of mining companies. They responded to the fall in oil and metal prices.