Stocks flee to safe havens amid virus fears

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Stocks flee to safe havens amid virus fears

On Friday, investors flocked to havens in global markets because of concerns over a coronaviruses variant first discovered in South Africa.

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The yen gained while South Africa's rand fell to its lowest in a year against the dollar amid fears that the variant could spread internationally, thwarting the recovery in the world's economy.

Researchers are yet to determine whether or not the B. Authorities around the world have been quick to act when the variant 1.1529 is more transmissible or lethal than previous ones. As a precautionary measure, the U.K. and Israel temporarily banned flights from South Africa and five neighboring countries. The government said Wednesday that there were two cases of the new strain in travelers arriving in the city.

Asian stocks fell in early trading Friday, due to the risk-off tone, with Japanese shares underperforming. The U.S. markets were shut on Thursday for Thanksgiving, and thin liquidity is likely to be a factor in Friday s moves.

There is a risk off happening from Japan to Africa because of concerns about a new virus variant in South Africa, but countries like the U.K. are acting quickly to curtail its spread, said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners. There is a playbook for such situations, even if the new variant overstays, given that the world has gone through this before with Delta. The benchmark 10 year Treasury yield dropped 4 basis points to 1.59% as cash trading resumed after the holiday. The yen and Swiss franc gained ground against their Group-of- 10 peers, rising 0.4% and 0.2% against the dollar. The rand fell by as much as 1.3% to a one-year low of 16.1717 per dollar.

Alvin T. Tan, head of Asia foreign-exchange strategy at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong, said traders are trimming risk positions because of concerns over the new virus variant. The risk-off sentiment is magnified because of the thin liquidity in Asia and the U.S. holiday. One Chemical Company is reapping the benefits, and None of the Wildfires Are Getting Worse, and One Chemical Company is Reaping the Benefits.

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