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The health authorities of Belgium they detected on November 22 a case of the new South African variant of Covid-19, as reported today by the Minister of Public Health, Frank Vandenbroucke, who asked that “do not panic.” The infected patient is an unvaccinated young adult woman who developed symptoms eleven days after traveling to Egypt through Turkey, the National Reference Laboratory reported. The patient, it seems, you have had no high-risk contacts outside your home and no member of his family developed symptoms so far, added the National Reference Laboratory, which is conducting a comprehensive investigation.

The new variant of Covid-19 detected in South Africa has unleashed nervousness in world markets, in a context of new restrictions in Europe to face the pandemic. In addition, the new scenario of Covid-19 has set off alarms in the market for fear of the impact on the economic recovery, which is already showing signs of slowing down amid inflationary pressures. From the first hour, the European stocks reflected the nervousness with sharp falls. The Ibex 35 led the crash in Europe. It sank about 5% to 8,400 points, with almost all its values ​​in the red.

The values ​​most punished are those of the tourism sector, with falls exceeding 15% in the case of IAG. The airline holding company IAG, which includes British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Level, led the declines, retreating in a single day to levels that it had not registered for more than a year. They are followed in decline by Banco Santander, which fell 8.92%; and Aena, 8.77%

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, intervenes in the plenary session held in Congress this Wednesday, which debates various sections of the 2022 Budgets.

But the stock market hit will spread globally. Ben Laidler, Global Markets Strategist at eToro, stresses that “risk aversion” reaction is affecting assets more sensitive to prospects for GDP growth, such as commodities and equities. Asian stocks also suffered sharp falls, while on Wall Street the session will be shorter than usual, after it closed yesterday for “Thanksgiving Day”, which anticipates less activity that considerably reduces the volumes of activity and increases volatility. Meanwhile, “safer” assets, such as the dollar, bonds and gold, are in demand.

Faced with possible new restrictions, Europe is the most affectedLaidler highlights, because it is the region of the world with the most cases of new viruses and is most exposed to the slowdown in global growth that may occur. “Europe has the highest export / GDP ratio in the world, 45%, and the higher proportion of corporate income coming from abroad, more than 50%. “Even so, it highlights that economies and consumers” have been increasingly resistant to each new wave of viruses. “For this reason, although expectations are already low for many of the sectors most affected by the “reopening”, like travel and tourism, see an economic recovery “braked, but not derailed”.

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