On Thursday South Africa became the first country to say it believed it had passed the peak of a wave of coronavirus infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
India's Gross domestic product expanded 8.4% in the September quarter from a year earlier, statistics ministry data showed on November 30, in line with 8.4% growth predicted in a Reuters poll and compared with a 20.1% expansion in the previous quarter.
While London’s benchmark fell 3% and Tokyo lost 2.5%, Shanghai, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong also declined sharply.
Global stocks tumbled on November 26 and oil fell below $80 a barrel after news of a possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant sent investors scurrying to the safety of bonds, the yen, and the Swiss franc.
Bitcoin has tumbled over 9%, dragging smaller tokens down, after the discovery of a new, potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant saw investors dump riskier assets for the perceived safety of bonds, the yen, and the dollar.
Global authorities have reacted with alarm to a coronavirus variant detected in South Africa, with the European Union, Britain, and India among those announcing stricter border controls as scientists seek to determine if the mutation is vaccine-resistant.
"At this point, implementing travel measures is being cautioned against," WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a UN briefing in Geneva. "The WHO recommends that countries continue to apply a risk-based and scientific approach when implementing travel measures."
Oil prices dived more than 5% on November 26, hitting a two-month low as a new COVID-19 variant spooked investors and added to concerns that a supply surplus could swell in the first quarter.
"This variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations, and thus, has serious public health implications for the country, in view of recently relaxed visa restrictions and opening up of international travel", said Rajesh Bhushan.