Arab News

Stocks sink amid global virus surge

- Reuters London

Risk-aversion ruled on Monday as a surge in worldwide coronaviru­s cases pushed down bond yields and left stocks facing their longest losing streak since the pandemic first hit global markets 18 months ago.

The STOXX 600 slid 1.4 percent and London’s FTSE fell 1.3 percent as England scrapped COVID-19 restrictio­ns even though over 48,000 new cases were reported in Britain on Sunday.

Asia had seen Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’ Hang Seng drop 1.3 percent overnight too. Cases hit an 11-month high at the weekend in Singapore. Thailand had its highest single-day increase since the pandemic began and Sydney’s constructi­on workers were told to down tools after cases rose there as well.

Wall Street futures were down 0.5 percent although it was good news for those holding safe haven government bonds or the dollar, which climbed to a more than three-month high.

Natwest’s Global Head of Desk Strategy, John Briggs, said the chances of broader lockdowns being needed again were growing and also China’s economy was slowing, meaning a recent surge in commodity prices could be peaking although oil is now expensive

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