South African Rand hit by new Covid concerns, variant

South African Rand.

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After detecting new variants with many mutations in the country, the South African rand fell sharply against the US dollar on Friday.

During the Asian trading session on Friday, the currency’s exchange rate against the US dollar fell to 16.2391, and the final transaction price fell by about 1.6% to 16.2215 per US dollar.

Investors have flocked to safe-haven currencies such as Japanese Yen, The exchange rate against the U.S. dollar rose by about 0.6% to 114.69 per U.S. dollar.America Dollar indexUS$96.712, which tracks the US dollar against other currencies-was below the US$96.5 level earlier this week.

A currency analyst told CNBC “Asian Road Signs” On Friday, the large volatility in the rand may be partly due to a decrease in trading during the Asian session.

“This basic news about the new variant [South] Adarsh ​​Sinha, co-head of Asian interest rate and foreign exchange strategy at Bank of America Securities, said that Africa plus Asia’s scarce liquidity must be part of the price trend.

World Health Organization officials said on Thursday They are monitoring a new variant in which there are many mutations in the spike protein, which is the part of the virus that binds to cells in the body. The health agency is arranging a special meeting on Friday to discuss what this might mean for vaccines and treatments.

According to the World Health Organization, this variant named B.1.1.529 has been found in small quantities in South Africa.

“We don’t know much about it yet. What we do know is that this variant has a lot of mutations. The worrying thing is that when you have so many mutations, it affects the way the virus behaves,” WHO Covid- 19 The head of technology, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, said in a Q&A live on the organization’s social media channels.

A few hours after the announcement, the UK announced that it would Suspend flights from six African countries.

— CNBC’s Hannah Miao contributed to this report.

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