The Omicron crackdown sends European equities tumbling at the start of the day.

LONDON (AFP) – European stocks fell sharply in early trading on Monday, following widespread losses as countries sought to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus type.

In early trading, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 1.9 percent to 7,133.15 points, compared to Friday’s close.

In the eurozone, the CAC 40 index in Paris down 2.1 percent to 6,782.16 points, while the DAX in Frankfurt fell 2.4 percent to 15,154.44 points.

As the fast-spreading Omicron Covid-19 strain pushes governments to reimpose containment restrictions and customers stay at home, economies are taking a hit.

“Governments all over the world are tightening regulations to stop the Omicron variety from spreading,” said AvaTrade analyst Naeem Aslam.

“Investors are behaving carefully and retreating‚Ķ from risky investments that are more favourably connected to economic development until the macroeconomic environment stabilises.”

On Monday, Asian equities and oil prices fell on concerns over a new global outbreak of coronavirus infections, as well as the fate of US President Joe Biden’s big social spending programme, which lost a vital vote from a moderate Democrat.

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