Author: Don Obrien

Concerns over a new Covid variant

LONDON — European stocks are set to slide at the open on Friday with fears over a new variant of Covid-19 that reportedly has multiple mutations.

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 120 points lower at 7,190, the German DAX is expected to open 268 points lower at 15,650 and the French CAC 40 is expected to open 116 points lower at 6,960, according to CMC Markets.

European investors have been closely monitored the acute Covid crisis in the region this week amid rising infections that have prompted a handful of countries to introduce new Covid restrictions.

Italy announced Wednesday evening that it will introduce tighter Covid measures and Germany has narrowly avoided another lockdown with the incoming government reportedly wanting to wait and see if tighter Covid passport rules help to alleviate rising cases there.

But overnight, concerns over a new variant of Covid started to rise, with the U.K. temporarily suspending flights from six countries in southern Africa. The new Covid variant has more than 30 mutations spreads and the WHO is holding a special meeting Friday to discuss what the new variant may mean for vaccines and treatments.

U.S. markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early on Friday in a shortened session. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 400 points on Friday morning amid the renewed Covid concerns.

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