Euro markets closed deep in the red on Friday amid new restrictive measures imposed by European governments to control the spread of the coronavirus, and reports of a new variant of the virus with multiple mutations sparked fears about the effectiveness of vaccines and of existing treatments.
The new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading in South Africa is causing concern due to the large number of mutations and its rapid spread. Britain announced today that the new strain is considered by scientists to be the most important that has been identified so far and therefore it needs to be determined whether or not it makes the vaccines ineffective.
BioNTech, meanwhile, has announced that it has begun testing the new coronavirus mutation and is awaiting the first data from its laboratory tests on how it responds to its vaccine over the next two weeks. The evidence will shed light on whether the new mutation, B.1.1.529, could escape the protection offered by the vaccine.
The mutation has already reached Europe, with the first confirmed case recorded in Belgium.
Italy also announced on Wednesday afternoon that it will introduce stricter measures, while Portugal also announced stricter restrictive measures yesterday. Germany is currently locking in a lockdown, with the future coalition government reportedly willing to wait to see if the measures in force will help reduce the growing number of cases.
In this climate, the pan-European Stoxx 600 recorded a “dip” of 3.67% to 464.05 points, with the travel industry leading the losses with a fall of 8.7%. At the same time, the other pan-European Stoxx 50 fell 4.74% to 4,089.58 points.
On the rest of the board, the German DAX sank 4.15% to 15,257.04 points, the British FTSE 100 The French fell 3.64% to 7,044.03 points CAC-40 lost 4.75% to 6,739.73 points.
In the periphery, the Spanish IBEX-35 slipped 4.96% to 8,402.70 points and the Italian FTSE MIB lost 4.60% to 25,852.99 points.
At the end of the day, the data announced today by the European Central Bank showed that the annual growth rate of the M3 money supply index strengthened in October to 7.7% from 7.5% in September.
The annual growth rate of loans to households remained unchanged at 4.1% in October, while the annual growth rate of loans to non-financial corporations increased to 2.5% in October from 2.1% in September, as shown. ECB data.