FirstFT: Stocks and oil prices sink as new coronavirus variant spooks markets

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Global stocks and oil prices tumbled on Friday as investors dashed for shelter in haven assets after a new coronavirus variant shook market sentiment.

A broad sell-off in European shares followed similar moves in Asian markets. Europe’s Stoxx 600 fell 3.1 per cent in early trade, with France’s CAC 40 index and Germany’s Dax 30 down by similar margins.

The B.1.1.529 Sars-Cov-2 variant, first identified in Botswana, is believed to be behind a surge in Covid cases in southern Africa over the past week and has alarmed global health officials because of its apparent ability to evade vaccines and spread…

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