Monday 29th November 2021
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On Friday U.S. stocks experienced the biggest single day decline during the past year, as the latest variant of COVID-19, Omicron from Southern Africa spreads around the globe, with the potential to scuttle the global economic recover. The Dow Jones Industrial Average – after briefly falling more than 1,000 points – ended the 905 points or 2.53% lower, while the S&P 500 dropped 2.27%, its worst day since February. The Nasdaq Composite fell 2.23%. The new COVID-19 variant has a high rate of mutations, making it harder to control. Airline stocks took a pounding across the globe, as countries started to limit flights from Southern Africa. Investors are selling ahead of further bad news.
Vaccine-makers were the best performers on Friday, with shares of Pfizer, Moderna and BioNTech all up, but Johnson & Johnson fell. mRNA vaccines – such as those developed by Pfizer and Moderna – can apparently be easily updated to fight Omicron. Stay at home stocks like Zoom were up, while banks tumbled, tracking lower bond yields.
In other leading markets were also down, with European stocks plummeting due to the potential negative impact of Omicron. FTSE100 slumped 3.64%, the CAC 40 nose dived 4.75% and the DAX 30 also fell sharply -4.15%. In Asia markets were down, with the Nikkei down -2.53%, the Hang Seng fell -2.67% and the Shanghai Composite was marginally lower. 0.56%.
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