DJIA and S&P 500 share indexes ended 1.9% lower, Nasdaq declined 1.6%, while FTSE 100, Dax, and Cac 40 dropped more than 1.5% each, Stoxx 600 shed 1.5%, and Nikkei index finished down 1.6%
Stock markets around the world have dropped after the boss of Moderna cast doubts on the effectiveness of vaccines against the new Omicron Covid variant.
The Covid variant was first detected in South Africa, and the symptoms have been mild so far. But travel restrictions have been imposed as a precaution by places including the UK, the EU and the US.
In the US, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the broader S&P 500 share indexes ended 1.9% lower. The tech-focused Nasdaq declined 1.6%.
The US market falls followed similar declines in Europe and Asia.
The UK’s FTSE 100 share index, Germany’s Dax, and France’s Cac 40 dropped more than 1.5% each before regaining ground, while the pan-European Stoxx 600 shed 1.5%, hitting its lowest level in nearly seven weeks.
Markets plunged on Friday after investors were rattled by the discovery of the new variant, with the FTSE 100 index suffering its biggest drop in more than a year.
Stock markets bounced back slightly on Monday, but are still far below last week’s levels.
However, both the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 are still substantially higher than this time last year – up about 8.3% and 9.6% respectively.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei index finished down 1.6%, crude oil prices declined nearly 3%, and the Australian dollar hit a one-year low.
There was also a scramble for ‘safe haven assets’ such as gold, German government bonds, and the yen.
It’s not good news, and it’s coming from someone who should know, said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency strategist Joe Capurso. Markets have reacted in exactly the way you’d expect them to.