The new super mutant variant has spooked global markets on Friday with the FTSE 100 plummeting to it’s lowest level since March 2020.
Investors a worried over the news of the new variant sweeping across the globe and the FTSE 100 index fell by as much as 259 points to its lowest on Friday.
The FTSE slightly recovered but is firmly on track for the poorest performance this year.
On Friday morning the government announced that South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini are now on the travel red list, due to a surge in cases identified with the new mutation.
“Forget Black Friday; today has been renamed Red Friday after the colour of share price screens as stocks slump globally on fears over a new Covid strain,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
“Headlines calling it the ‘worst-ever variant’ have caused investors to panic and dump shares in travel-related stocks for fear that we’re going to see tough travel restrictions once again.
He added: “The drop in the oil price (is) the market’s way of saying it is worried about a reduction in economic activity, something which also explains the slump in metal prices.
“Markets are clearly speculating that a rapid spread of a more brutal Covid strain could once again derail the global economy. Banking stocks were also weak as they are closely tied to economic activity.”