European stocks slump with travel names hard hit as investors fret over new COVID variant


European stocks fell sharply early Friday, with heavy losses for travel stocks and energy names after a new potentially highly contagious variant of COVID was detected in South Africa. The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -2.47% slid 3.8% to 465, with the German DAX DAX, -2.74% down 3.5%, the French CAC 40 PX1, -3.29% sliding 4.3% and the FTSE 100 index UKX, -2.69% down 3.4%. The U.K. has announced it will halt travel from South Africa and several other African countries as of Friday. Shares of International Consolidated Airlines IAG, -9.49% slid 10%, cruise operator Carnival CCL, -9.70% slumped 16% and Deutsche Lufthansa LHA, -9.78% dropped 12%. Energy names also weighed heavily as crude fell more than 5% to $73.91 a barrel. BP shares BP, +0.69% BP, -5.90% fell 8%.

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