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Nikkei down hard due to concerns about new corona variant

Photo: ANP

The Tokyo stock market plunged sharply on Friday. Investors were shocked by the new corona mutation that is circulating in South Africa and that differs in many ways from the current prevailing Delta variant. Companies in the airline and travel industry were especially under pressure due to fears of new travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the mutation. The Japanese yen, considered a safe haven in uncertain times, appreciated.

In the near future, the World Health Organization WHO will conduct research into the new variant, which already appears to be responsible for 90 percent of all infections in the South African province of Gauteng. The mutation has also spread to countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. Two infections with the variant have also been reported in Hong Kong. Scientists think it is too early to say anything about the effectiveness of the existing vaccines in this new variant.

The Nikkei in Tokyo entered the weekend with a loss of 2.5 percent at 28,751.62 points. It was the largest daily loss in two months. Japan Airlines lost 6.5 percent. The Japanese government hinted at a possible closure of the borders due to the new corona variant. Major Japanese exporters such as Toyota, Nissan and Sony struggled with the more expensive yen and were lowered almost 2 percent. Tech investor SoftBank fell 5 percent after reports that Chinese authorities want Didi to delist his New York stock exchange. SoftBank has a major stake in the Chinese taxi app.

Stocks also fell elsewhere in the Asian region. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong recorded more than 2 percent in the meantime. Airline Cathay Pacific lost 3.8 percent. The All Ordinaries in Sydney fell 1.7 percent. Australian airline Qantas plunged 5.5 percent after reports that Australia is also considering imposing travel restrictions to keep the new corona variant out. The Kospi in Seoul fell 1.4 percent and the stock in Shanghai kept the loss relatively limited to 0.5 percent.

Oil prices also fell on concerns about the impact of possibly stricter corona measures on oil demand. A barrel of American oil was 3.1 percent cheaper at $ 75.99. Brent oil cost 2.5 percent less at $ 80.19 a barrel.



Nikkei down hard due to concerns about new corona variant
Source link Nikkei down hard due to concerns about new corona variant

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