European Bourse Slumping Midday on Pandemic Outlook
European bourses slumped midday Friday on reports of a new, mutated and infectious strain of COVID-19 from South Africa that may overcome existing immunizations.
Underlining concerns, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Friday the organization will propose an "emergency brake" on air travel from southern African states. Germany and Italy have already banned flights from South Africa, according to media reports. Bank and oil stock indices were down about 5%.
Market denizens also weighed a Wall Street futures market flashing red, and sharply lower closes overnight in Asia.
The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 Index was off 2.8% mid-session.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Technology Index was lower by 1.3% and the Stoxx 600 Banks Index was down 5.2%. The Stoxx Europe Oil and Gas Index was off 4.9%.
The Stoxx Europe Food and Beverage Index was off 2.4%, the REITE, a European REIT index, was off 2.8%, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Insurance Index was off 3.9%.
In national market indices, the German DAX fell 2.7%, the FTSE 100 Index in London was down 2.7%, and the CAC 40 in Paris was off 3.3%. Spain's IBEX 35 declined by 3.7%.
Yields on benchmark 10-year German bonds were more negative, at minus 0.32%.
Front-month Brent crude oil futures were 5.7% lower at $77.52 per barrel.
The Euro Stoxx 50 volatility index was up 40.5% at 27.93, indicating above-average volatility for European stock markets in the next 30 days, a negative signal. A reading above 20 indicates choppier markets ahead, while below 20 suggests expectations for calmer markets.