December 8, 2021

Rand tanks as UK red lists South Africa again amid new Covid variant

The rand fell to its weakest stage in over a yr on Thursday (25 November) on the again of the recently-discovered B.1.1529 variant and a new UK journey ban for Southern Africa.

The native unit misplaced an additional 2.15% in opposition to the greenback on Friday morning, as markets in Asia responded to the information.

Whereas researchers are but to find out whether or not the B.1.1529 variant, found in Southern African international locations is extra transmissible or deadly than earlier variants, authorities globally, have been fast to behave, Bloomberg reported. The UK and Israel have briefly banned flights from South Africa and 5 neighbouring international locations as a precautionary measure.

UK well being Secretary Sajid Javid mentioned on Thursday that from midday on Friday (12h00, 26 November), flights to and from South Africa, and international locations together with Botswana might be briefly banned. Any UK nationals arriving from the required international locations should quarantine, he mentioned.

“There is some risk off happening from Japan to Africa due to concerns around a new virus variant being found in South Africa but the good thing is countries such as UK are acting fast to curtail its spread,” mentioned Justin Tang, head of Asian analysis at United First Companions.

“Given that the world has gone through this before with Delta, there is already a playbook for such situations – even if the new variant overstays.”

Airways and different journey shares throughout Asia have been among the many greatest decliners as merchants reacted to the prospect of additional flight curbs. Oil retreated as the new pressure raised considerations concerning the outlook for power demand earlier than the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Nations and allies meet subsequent week on its manufacturing coverage.

World investor nerves have been already frayed this week amid concern over the withdrawal of stimulus from the Federal Reserve and the seemingly relentless rise in inflation.

At 07h26 on Friday (26 November), the rand traded on the following ranges again the foremost currencies:

  • Greenback/Rand: R16.19 (2.14%)
  • Pound/Rand: R21.54 (+1.94%)
  • Euro/Rand: R18.17 (+2.32%)

With additional reporting by Bloomberg.


Learn: UK bans journey to South Africa over new Covid variant

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