Markets on the backfoot as mutated Covid-19 spreads across the world

South African stocks fell more than 2 percent at the markets yesterday as the rand depreciated further against the dollar after hitting its highest level since January 30th last week.

The rand slumped 2.17 percent to R14.86 against the greenback by lunchtime on Monday as a fast-spreading mutation of the Covid-19 detected in the UK dented investors’ appetite for riskier assets.

The rand had firmed on Friday as global risk appetite linked to a record stimulus package in the United States and a buoyant Chinese economy continued to offset worries about domestic growth.

But those gains were undone yesterday as more countries reported mutation of the Covid-19 in its second wave across the globe, including in South Africa.

More than 16 million Britons were requested to stay at home as a full lockdown came into force and several countries including Germany and France issued travel bans on the UK.