Stocks fall and headed for their largest weekly drop in nearly two months. Safe haven assets such as bonds and the yen rallied. A new virus variant added to swirling concerns about future growth and higher U.S. interest rates. The variant, detected by scientists in South Africa, may be able to evade immune responses.

S&P 500 futures fall 0.4%, while risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars drop to three-month lows. Japan's Nikkei was down 1.7% in early trade and Australian shares fell 0.6%.MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2% for a weekly fall of 1%.

Moves in Treasuries were sharp at the open in Tokyo. Benchmark 10-year yields fell 5 basis points to 1.5927%. yen jumped about 0.4% to 114.91 per dollar and gold rose 0.2% to $1,792 per ounce.

U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) and Taiwanese peer United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) have agreed to withdraw complaints against each other. Singapore's DBS Group said its online banking services had been fully restored after suffering disruptions for about two days.
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