Global markets: US futures and oil plunge amid fears of a new type of Covid virus
US crude fell 5 percent to about $ 74 a barrel. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell 4.3 percent.
Jeffrey Haley, chief market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said in a research note on Friday that investors were “scared” by the discovery of the new Covid-19 variant in South Africa.
The South African Minister of Health said, on Thursday, that a new type of Corona virus is spreading rapidly in parts of the country.
It has also been discovered in Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel.
Airlines and travel stocks were among the biggest decliners on Friday.
“With a delta wave in mind from early this year, investors are likely to shoot first and ask questions later until more is known about it,” Haley said.
Rob North contributed to this article.