As a new strain of the coronavirus batters the United Kingdom, European stocks tumbled yesterday; as a result, causing trepidation with regional neighbors as they suspend travel with the nation ahead of the holiday season and following another missed Brexit talk. This mutant strain of the COVID-19 virus also overshadowed any earlier optimism for investors due to positive news over vaccine rollouts and stimulus packages.
Today’s impact of this new strain dragged travel and energy shares in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down by 2% as Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and other European Union nations closed their borders to Britain. This, along with the fact that more than 16 million Britons are now under full lockdown and ongoing trade talks with the EU, has also impacted the GBP, causing it to slump by nearly 2%. Another commodity that saw a significant decrease today was Crude oil, as it fell by approximately 4%. Only some havens like treasuries, the dollar, and gold saw some slight advancements.
Elsewhere, equity futures in the United States dipped following Congress reaching a consensus on a $900 billion stimulus support deal for its economy, which the House of Representatives is expected to vote on today. While, for the most part, major Pacific and Asian equity markets were little changed, Thailand was one of the worst-performing equity markets globally. This is notably seen with its SET index sinking by 3.7%, as the country also braces for extended restrictions amid surging virus cases.