Belgium First European Nation To Confirm Spread Of “Nu” Variant

Belgium First European Nation To Confirm Spread Of “Nu” Variant

In what is becoming a nightmare for thousands of traders (and an even larger number of public health officials, we imagine), the latest COVID variant to elicit a hysterical response – the ironically named “nu” variant” – has just been confirmed in Belgium, the first European country to confirm cases of the new strain.

Two suspected cases of the new variant have been detected and confirmed in Belgium, according to local media reports. The strain was initially found in South Africa, Hong Kong, Botswana and Israel.

The variant has elicited major surges in infections, and on Friday, panic about a more chaotic outlook for interest rates and the broader global economy has sent the VIX surging premarket on an otherwise quiet post-Thanksgiving Friday.

The Nu variant, formerly referred to as B.1.1529, was initially identified five days ago, first in Botswana, with subsequent confirmation and sequencing in South Africa where 100 cases have been confirmed. The variant has also spread to Israel and Hong Kong, according to Citi analyst Andrew Baum.

Of course, all of this comes with a pretty big asterisk: The analyst believes concern over Nu needs to be balanced against the failure of other concerning variants such as Beta to out-compete delta.

Belgium also confirmed that the “nu” cases involved a traveler who had just arrived in the country from “abroad”. Already, Spain, India and a handful of other nations have imposed new travel restrictions, citing the new variant as the motive.

One trader has some pretty interesting thoughts about where this is all going.

Tyler Durden
Fri, 11/26/2021 – 08:34

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