World markets fall as new virus variant sparks panic

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European stocks dropped around 3% this morning as reports of a newly identified and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant stoked fears of a fresh hit to global economy and drove investors out of riskier assets.

Cyclical-heavy European stock markets have already been under stress this week as a resurgence in Covid-19 cases prompted new restrictions in several countries.

Shares in London were down 3 by around 11am, while the Paris CAC slumped 3.7% and the Frankfurt DAX lost 2.9%.

The Dublin market was also weaker – falling 3.3% – with shares in Ryanair sinking almost 10%, while Dalata Hotel Group fell 4.7% and ICG was down almost 3%.

Travel and leisure stocks plunged after Britain announced a temporary ban on flights from South Africa and several neighbouring countries from today.

Shares in Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG and EasyJet fell over 13%, while travel company TUI fell over 10%.

Oil and gas producers dropped 5.8%, while miners…

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