Global markets fall after Moderna Omicron warningon November 30, 2021 at 11:36 am

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Stock markets slide after Moderna boss casts doubt on vaccine effectiveness against new variant.

Moderna vaccine

Image source, Getty Images

European stock markets have fallen after the boss of Moderna cast doubts on the effectiveness of vaccines against the new Omicron Covid variant.

Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times he thought there would be a “material drop” in vaccine efficacy.

The Covid variant was first detected in South Africa, and the symptoms have been mild so far.

But travel restrictions have been imposed as a precaution by places including the UK, the EU and the US.

Mr Bancel predicted that existing vaccines would be less effective in staving off Omicron, and that it would take months for drugs companies to update vaccines.

“There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level,” he said.

UK’s FTSE 100, Germany’s Dax, and France’s Cac 40 slipped more than 1.5% each, and the pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 1.5% to hit its lowest levels in nearly seven weeks, before they all regained some ground.

There was also a scramble for safe haven assets such as gold, German government bonds, and the yen.

Markets plunged on Friday after investors were rattled by the discovery of the the new variant, with the FTSE 100 index suffering its biggest drop in more than a year.

Stock markets have risen slightly since then, but are still far below last week’s levels.

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Big shifts in the stock market are often in the news, whether they are booms or falls owing to coronavirus or the financial crisis.

There are good reasons why this performance affects your life and finances.

There are millions of people with a pension – either private or through work – invested by pension schemes.

The value of their savings pot is influenced by the performance of these investments.

Timing is more critical for those at retirement age, as this may be when a retiree uses their pension pot to buy a retirement income, or annuity.

The bigger the pot, the more income they will get in retirement.

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