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European Stock Futures Sharply Lower; New Virus Strain Raises Lockdown Fears

Stock MarketsNov 26, 2021 02:00AM ET
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© Reuters

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets are expected to open sharply lower Friday on concerns a new Covid variant will prompt fresh mobility restrictions, hindering the region’s economic recovery.  

At 2:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 2.3% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 2.6% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 2.3%.

Virus cases have soared in Europe in the last month, with a number of countries introducing stricter Covid measures. But a degree of urgency was added to the situation by the announcement late Thursday by the World Health Organization that it’s monitoring a new Covid-19 variant with “a large number of mutations”, detected mainly in southern Africa. 

The United Nations agency is set to hold a special meeting later Friday to discuss the implications for vaccines and treatments given the degree of mutation from the original strain. Ahead of that, the U.K. has already announced a temporary flight ban from a number of southern African countries and put travelers from the region into quarantine.

The European markets received a negative handover from Asia on the news, with Japan’s Nikkei dropping 2.5%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 2.2% and South Korea’s Kospi falling 1.4%. The region’s airline stocks were particularly hard hit, and this sentiment is likely to translate into hefty losses in the travel sector when Europe opens.

Wall Street was closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, and will close early on Friday in a shortened session. Ahead of that U.S. stock futures point to a sharply lower open, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average contract over 600 points lower. 

"We still don't know how infectious the virus is ... it's a general uncertainty. Markets are anticipating the risk here of another global wave of infections if vaccines are ineffective,” said Moh Siong Sim, an analyst with the Bank of Singapore, Reuters reported. 

"Reopening hopes could be dashed."

Crude prices slumped Friday as the announcement of a new Covid-19 strain raised concerns about demand just as a U.S.-led coalition of major consumers is adding output to the global supply.

Worries are growing that this will result in a global supply surplus in the first quarter, and brings next week’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and allies, a group known as OPEC+, firmly into focus

The group is to decide whether it will continue raising output by 400,000 barrels per day in January, or to hold back supply.

By 2:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 3.4% lower at $75.78 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 2.7% to $80.03.

Additionally, gold futures rose 1% to $1,801.80/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.1229.

 

European Stock Futures Sharply Lower; New Virus Strain Raises Lockdown Fears
 

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Comments (16)
Sanjay Motwani
Sanjay Motwani Nov 26, 2021 7:33AM ET
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Its very strange that they talk so much about the virus but very less about how the patients are doing. Very unusual!
surely joking
surely joking Nov 26, 2021 3:54AM ET
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the Pfizer and Merck antivirals will be approved soon. my guess is at least one will be approved for emergency use by the end of December at the latest. These drugs are really effective. I think they will stop the pandemic.
Pwr Strk
Pwr Strk Nov 26, 2021 3:46AM ET
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Fauci just deployed the new strain as planned
simone scelsa
simone scelsa Nov 26, 2021 3:44AM ET
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Exactly what the central banks and insolvent governments need to avoid rasing rates and continue with their asset purchases.
Hichem Trabelsi
Hichem Nov 26, 2021 3:43AM ET
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Typical communist (democrats) strategy to exchange world financial and economic stability against full vaccinated planet.. marketing variants exist nowhere except in the media and politicians mind for geopolitical interests..in the meantime the "sheeps" will follow the shepherd as usual ..
robert mandry
Rob2Trade Nov 26, 2021 3:28AM ET
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A new variant just in time for 2022 election season! I guess were going to have to use them trusty mail in ballots again for 2022, right?
Dane Sebastion
Dane Sebastion Nov 26, 2021 3:24AM ET
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so on a maybe it might be the Dow drops 1000 points, what a joke!!!
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Nov 26, 2021 3:24AM ET
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...if the vaccines are not effective...aw shucks!! C'mon Man!
Marc Tumor
Marc Tumor Nov 26, 2021 3:23AM ET
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Another marketing variant of the virus that is present in the media at the request of governments around the world to scare their own citizens and thus force them to inject themselves with some substance that is not a vaccine.
Jan Rokyta
Jan Rokyta Nov 26, 2021 3:21AM ET
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Back in the 80's my biology high-school teacher was convinced that viruses will dominate our lives in the future....
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Nov 26, 2021 3:14AM ET
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Every nation on Earth should be doing a full blast attack on China for all of this.
Val Lange
Val Lange Nov 26, 2021 3:06AM ET
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While US is off we could see great short based on comments about virus))))
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Nov 26, 2021 3:04AM ET
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Another fake virus eh? This is nothing more than a circus freakshow.
Costinho Mokoena
Costinho Mokoena Nov 26, 2021 2:57AM ET
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Hi folks from all over the world iam in south africa , the corona virus variant just waited for our midterm elections to complete and then emerges, on the ground we dont know about that virus, i was at the hospital just today to collect some medical information , nothing nothing in that hospital , and this is the biggest hospital in the world , Chris Hani baragwanath Hospital !.. its all scam !.. the media is the corona virus !!
Ajay Pratap Singh
Ajay Pratap Singh Nov 26, 2021 2:57AM ET
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Crap, on the other hand WHO says we have to live Covid and creating a nonsense Fud in the market with new Covid .Variant
Ajay Pratap Singh
Ajay Pratap Singh Nov 26, 2021 2:57AM ET
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* live with
Raja Tampan
Raja Tampan Nov 26, 2021 2:32AM ET
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It's spooky time...
 
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