South African rand lasts hit on new Covid fears, variant

South African Rand.

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The South African Rand on Friday fell sharp against the dollar after a new variant with many mutations detected in the country.

The currency fell to 16.2391 against the dollar during Asia trading hours on Friday and wash last trading about 1.6% weaker at 16.2215 per dollar.

The losses came as investors rushed to safe-haven currencies like the Japanese Yen, die about 0.6% amplified against the dollar to 114.69 per dollar. The United States dollar Table of Contents, die the dollar follows against his colleagues, was at 96,712 – in comparison with levels below 96.5 seen earlier this week.

one currency analyst told CNBCs “Street Signs Asia” on Friday that the big move in the edge may be due in part to the fact that there are fewer transactions made during Asia hours.

“This basic news of the new variant in [South] Africa, combined with thin liquidity in Asia, is certainly a driving force of Which price action,” said Adarsh ​​Sinha, co-head of Asia rates and foreign exchange strategy Bee bank of American securities.

World Health Organization officials said on Thursday: they oversee a new variant with numerous mutations in the spike protein — the part of the virus that binds to cells in the body. The health service is planning a special meeting Friday to discuss what it can mean for vaccines and treatments.

The variant, named B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa in small numbers, according to the WHO.

“We do not know a lot more here over. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said in a Q&A die was livestreamed on the organization’s social media channels.

Hours after the announcement, The United Kingdom announced it would temporarily suspend flights from six African countries.

— Hannah Miao of CNBC contributed to this report.

Read More: World News

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