Stock Market Shares Plunge after Trump Moved to Military Hospital

Stocks dived on Friday just after President Trump announced via a tweet the night before that he and the First Lady had both tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

U.S. and European stock futures and Asian shares fell Friday after President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the new coronavirus. The future contracts for both the S&P 500 and the Dow briefly lost more than 2% but were down 1.5% as of 7:32 a.m. Eastern- Oil prices also tumbled more than 3%.

TD Securities analysts said: “There was a knee-jerk risk-off reaction given the level of uncertainty but ultimately the market reaction will depend on a few questions. How sick does Trump get or does he remain asymptomatic? Who else in the Administration is infected? Does Trump get a sympathy vote and implications for the election? Implications for Phase 4 fiscal stimulus?”

The Nikkei 225 index shed strong early gains, losing 0.8% after the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed trading following an all-day outage due to a technical failure. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 1%, while shares n Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia also fell.

Gold futures ended lower Friday even though President Donald Trump and his wife announced they had contracted the COVID-19 disease and would be quarantining in the White House for days. The unexpected news comes as the race for the U.S. presidency between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is heating up. Some strategists speculate that the news forces investors to come to terms with the front-runner status of Democratic challenger Biden, who was already leading in most national polls against Trump.

Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management said, quote: “Gold picked up a bit overnight on the Trump diagnosis news” but turned back downward “as it has become clear that the news has not sparked a panic rush out of equities into defensive havens like gold.”

Update- 6.00 am BST

Gold is slightly up at 0.32% on the day to stand at $1,908 after falling to a low of $1,888 in early Asian trading hours.

Bitcoin sell-offs

The cryptocurrency sold off early Friday shortly after U.S. Pres. Donald Trump announced he and his wife had tested positive to COVID-19. is also down by 1.9%, having fallen from €9,113.21 ($10,678) to around €8,875.95 ($10,400).

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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