Stocks, oil prices fall after Trump tests positive for virus

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U.S. equity futures and Asian stocks fell on Friday after President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus.S&P 500 and Dow Jones futures fell 1.9%. Oil prices have also fallen.

Trump tweeted news of his test results just hours after the White House announced that Senior Assistant Hope Hicks had caught the virus after traveling with the president several times this week.

“To say that this could potentially be a big deal is an understatement,” Rabobank said in a comment. “Either way, everything is now taking a back seat to the latest incredible turn of this American election campaign. ”

Trade in Asia has been limited, with the Shanghai and Hong Kong markets closed. The Nikkei 225 Index lost strong early gains, losing 0.8% to 22,999.75 after the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed trading after a one-day outage due to a technical failure.

Reports that the Japanese government is preparing new stimulus measures to help the economy recover from a protracted downturn made worse by the coronavirus pandemic have provided only a temporary boost. Prices fell further after Trump’s announcement.

Australia’s benchmark S & P / ASX 200 slipped 1% to 5,815.90. Shares in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia also fell.

On Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 ended the day up 0.5%, at 3,380.80, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 27,816.90 and the Nasdaq composite rose 1 , 4% to 11,326.51, as large tech-focused stocks supported the market, just as they weathered the pandemic.

Such swings have become typical recently, as investors reduce the chances of a Capitol Hill deal sending more money to Americans, restoring unemployment benefits for laid-off workers, and providing assistance to airlines and to other industries particularly affected by the pandemic.

House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued their discussions on Thursday, but no breakthrough came until the end of stock trading on Wall Street. Instead, there were only hopes that were periodically raised and dashed as government officials took turns criticizing each other.

“Things stay fluid; we all know what’s at stake if this deal isn’t done before sunset, it’s unlikely to be ugly enough, ”Axi’s Stephen Innes said in a comment.

Beyond potential political developments, investors will be watching the jobs figures expected on Friday. Data released Thursday painted a mixed picture of the economy, with a report showing the number of workers claiming unemployment benefits last week fell to 837,000 from 873,000. This was less than economists expected, but incredibly high compared to before the pandemic.

Consumer spending was higher than expected in August, which is critical as it is the main driver of the US economy. But personal incomes weakened more than expected last month, and growth in the country’s manufacturing sector was also lower than expected.

With airlines and other large corporations announcing layoffs and time off, yet another round of economic aid from Congress is seen as crucial. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi have worked effectively together in the past, helping to complete the previous economic bailout approved by Congress in March. But the country’s growing partisan divide has hampered progress, with the presidential election just a month away.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 0.66% from 0.67% Thursday night.

US benchmark crude lost $ 1.08 to $ 37.64 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. He dropped $ 1.50 to $ 38.72 on Thursday. Brent, the international standard, lost $ 1.05 to $ 39.88 per barrel.

The dollar weakened to 105.05 Japanese yen from 105.54 yen. The euro weakened to $ 1.1731 from $ 1.1747.

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