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Reporting on key macro data at the time of release.
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- Concerns surrounding a new variant uncovered in South Africa have unsettled markets in style this morning, with commodities, equities and government bond yields all slipping sharply. The discovery of the new variant has already prompted new travel restrictions to be laid on countries across southern Africa, and has raised concerns that nations already on the cusp of a broad lockdown - namely Germany - could be tipped into tighter COVID counter-measures.
- The German health minister Spahn has already spoken, warning that social contacts will need to be reduced and that the healthcare system could be overwhelmed.
- Haven currencies are faring well, with CHF and JPY rallying and pressuring EUR/CHF to fresh multi-year lows.
- Oil- and commodity-tied currencies have been hardest hit, with the likes of NOK, AUD and CAD falling against most others in G10 as WTI and Brent crude prices follow equities lower. WTI trades at levels last seen in mid-September, with key support at the 100-dma giving way at $74.44/bbl.
- With the early US close, data and speakers are few and far between Friday, keeping focus on further developments on the continent.