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 slid 3.8% to 465, with the German DAX down 3.5%, the French CAC 40 sliding 4.3% and the FTSE 100 index 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 slid 10%, cruise operator Carnival slumped 16% and Deutsche Lufthansa dropped 12%. Energy names also weighed heavily as crude fell more than 5% to $73.91 a barrel. BP shares (BP.LN) fell 8%.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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