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Risk trades are battered as markets are cowering in fear amid news of a new COVID-19 variant stemming from South Africa. The 'Nu' variant is compounding concerns in a time where thinner liquidity conditions are prevailing amid the Thanksgiving holiday.

US stocks and bonds will be up for trading later but it will only be a half-day and given that it is Thanksgiving, most traders would already be away through to next week.

But amid fears of the 'Nu' variant, we can clearly see how the jitters are reverberating even if the moves may be exacerbated by lighter trading in the past twelve hours or so.

I'm not one to fight against the mood music, particularly on holiday-thin liquidity and as we get to the weekend, but this certainly does set things up to be more interesting next week and in the weeks ahead potentially.

For now, I'd expect fear to dominate but as we get more details on the virus variant, perhaps we can start looking at "buying value and selling hysteria" - one of my more favourite trade concepts over the years.

The big one to watch will be oil as a lot of the bullish undertones there depends on reopening demand and the pandemic being put in the rearview mirror. As such, this latest variant certainly throws a major curveball into the picture.

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