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LONDON: World stocks and oil prices sank Monday as the spreading Delta virus variant fuelled fears it could undermine the economic recovery, and the OPEC+ alliance agreed to hike output.

Safe haven assets were the order of the day amid a generalised sell-off of risky investments.

Oil prices plunged after OPEC+ agreed Sunday to pump an extra 400,000 barrels per day each month from August to meet rising demand as economies reopen.

London stocks gave up 2.3 percent at the close after the UK government lifted England's daily pandemic curbs despite soaring infection rates.

In eurozone trade, Frankfurt slumped by 2.6 percent and Paris shed 2.5 percent, and in New York the Dow Jones index was off by 2.1 percent in midday exchanges.

Europe mirrored sharp losses in Asia as investors dumped risky investments and fretted that runaway inflation could spark central bank interest rate hikes.