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SYDNEY, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Shares plunged in three months in Asia on Friday as oil fell after the discovery of a new, possibly coronavirus-resistant variant, prompting investors to rush into bond security. , yen and dollar. .
The MSCI Asia Stock Exchange Index outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) fell 1.8%, its biggest drop since August. Shares of casinos and drinks were sold in Hong Kong, travel stocks fell in Sydney and Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) slipped 3% and U.S. crude oil futures contracts fell 2.7% amid fears of new demand.
Futures futures for the S&P 500 were last down 1% and those of the Euro STOXX 50 were down 2%.
Little is known about the variant, found in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, but scientists said it has an unusual combination of mutations and may be able to evade immune responses or make it more transmissible. Read more
The British authorities think it is the most significant option to date, are concerned that it may resist vaccines and have rushed to impose travel restrictions. Read more
“You shoot first and ask questions later when such news erupts,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at the National Bank of Australia in Sydney, as the news shocked currency traders.
Rates for rate hikes were also withdrawn as Fed funds futures contracts rose and biennial treasury yields fell by 6 basis points, the sharpest decline since March 2020.
The South African yen fell more than 1% to a one-year low on Friday and the risk-austerity Australian and New Zealand dollars fell at the end of three months.
Japan and Australia each hinted at possible border closures in response to the new variant. Read more
“Markets are predicting here the risk of another global wave of infections if vaccines are ineffective,” said Moh Siong Sim, a currency analyst at the Bank of Singapore.
“Hopes for reopening may be dashed.”
Capital sales in Asia have global stocks (.MIWD00000PUS), on course for their worst week since early October. Dow Jones futures fell 1%, while FTSE futures fell 1.9%.
Treasury movements were also sharp at the longest end, with 10-year treasury yields falling by eight bps to 1.5618% and 30-year yields by 7 bps to 1.8963%.
Although this leaves yields within the last intervals, the heat has come from bets at the rate of rate increase and the Fed funds futures contract in December 2022 lasted 9 bps.
The yen jumped about 0.6% to $ 114.67 and the Aussie last fell 0.6% to $ 0.7141. The euro rose 0.1% to $ 1.1221 as security rather than policy differences boosted trade in Asia.
The moves come against an already growing backdrop of concern over COVID-19 outbreaks causing restrictions on movement and activity in Europe and beyond.
European countries expanded COVID-19 booster vaccines and tightened overnight restrictions. Slovakia announced a two-week blockade, the Czech government will close the rails early, and Germany crossed the 100,000 COVID-19-related death threshold. Read more
Shanghai on Friday restricted tourist activities and a nearby city cut off public transport as China doubles its zero-tolerance approach that is also troubling traders. Read more
Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Edited by Lincoln Feast.
Our standards: Principles of Trust by Thomson Reuters.
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