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New variant rattles share prices


Despite the impression the Prime minister appears to have, ‘Peppa pig’ is not a driving force in the markets, a fact he will have realised this week when looking at an issue that really has had an effect; the omicron variant. I must add, having been stuck inside whilst isolating for COVID, that both ‘Peppa pig’ and watching the ups and downs of the stock market look increasingly inviting compared to watching ‘Brooklyn 99’ for a sixth time on Netflix. Markets are famously jumpy, so although the first cases of the omicron variant have only just arrived in Britain, it has taken its toll.


Companies that have been particularly struck by the emergence of the new variant are in the aviation industry. This additional impact is down to the government’s swiftly implemented travel restrictions to southern Africa, which has virtually stopped all travel to the areas. In early trading alone, EasyJet’s share price dropped fourteen per cent, such a large drop that can only be attributed to the government’s actions. A senior investment and market analyst said, “Fear has gripped financial markets with the travel industry flying into another violent storm.”

However, stock markets have generally reacted badly to the new variant, fearing the possible effect it may have in stunting the economy’s recovery, an effect noted not only in the United Kingdom but also in France and Germany, which fell by more the three per cent. London’s FTSE 100 came off slightly lighter than that, falling only by two-point seven per cent.


The price of oil also decreased, by four-point nine per cent, to roughly seventy-eight dollars a barrel. Sources have described this as being the markets way of saying it is worried about a reduction in economic activity, but the weaker prices should also provide some relief in terms of inflationary pressures.


Maybe if Wilfred will give Boris the television remote back; he might stop blaming the issues on a cartoon pig. Perhaps he may even once again turn to the philosophical guidance of Kermit, or just possibly the really intelligent investors will start watching children’s channels to help them predict the Prime Minister’s next move.

 

Written by Adam Caudle Research compiled by Kristina Njeru

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