The US president announced he and Melania had tested positive for coronavirus in a tweet. Mr Trump posted: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” It comes after one of Mr Trump’s top advisers also tested positive for the virus on Thursday night. Hope Hicks was the closest aide to the president to test positive for the virus so far. 

Futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 slid 1.21 percent by early afternoon in Asia, while Treasury yields also fell.

The US dollar rose, particularly against the British pound, the Australian and New Zealand dollars in a sign of risk aversion.

Trump’s positive could cause a new wave of market volatility as investors brace for the hotly-contested presidential election in November.

“It has the potential to reduce Trump’s campaigning ability. He’s got a lot on and it’s an interruption,” said Sean Callow, currency strategist at Westpac in Sydney.

“It also hurts him as far as the whole narrative that it’s really not much to worry about – it puts the COVID crisis itself back front and centre.”

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1.51pm update: Wall Street set for dive after Trump gets coronavirus

Wall Street was set for a heavy tumble on Friday as news that US President Donald Trump and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus just four weeks before US elections sent investors into safer gold, Treasuries and the yen.

Europe’s main bourses were down 0.5 percent, having clawed back some of their starker morning falls .STOXX, but the futures markets were pointing to 1.5 percent to 2 percent losses for Wall Street’s S&P 500 EScv1 and Nasdaq NQc1.

Trump said on Twitter he and his wife had been tested positive for coronavirus: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.”

11.29am update: Asda bought from Walmart by UK billionaire brothers in £6.8bn deal

The billionaire brothers behind petrol forecourt firm EG Group and private equity firm TDR Capital have won the £6.8 billion takeover battle for supermarket giant Asda.

Walmart, the supermarket chain’s US owner, has accepted a bid led by Lancashire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa following a lengthy auction process.

Walmart will retain a minority stake in Asda as part of the agreement.

The new owners have committed to keeping the retailer’s headquarters in Leeds and has said it will invest to grow its convenience and online operations.

It comes more than a year after a proposed merger between Asda and UK supermarket rival Sainsbury’s was torpedoed by regulators.

Asda has seen its fortunes improve recently with trading strengthening through 2020, as shoppers have spent more money on groceries during the pandemic.

In the quarter to June, Asda saw online sales double but the new owners will be tasked with expanding its digital business further to take advantage of soaring demand and make ground on rivals, such as Tesco, who have a larger slice of the market.

10.10am update: FTSE 100 edges lower

The pound at 10am was 1.2948 dollars compared to 1.2897 dollars at the previous close.

The euro at 10am was 0.9051 pounds compared to 0.9115 pounds at the previous close.

9.08am update: US stocks fall more than 1 percent in London

President Donald Trump’s positive coronavirus test triggered a stock market sell-off and a move into government bonds this morning as uncertainty spiked only a month before the US election.

US stock futures fell more than 1 percent in London, while government bond yields slid as investors assessed the impact of the president’s illness and quarantine for financial markets.

Investors, who have driven a long rise in global equity markets, were already nervous given the lack of progress on more US fiscal stimulus.

Stock market volatility gauges rose, with the widely-watched VIX index up to nearly 29 points, from around 27 points on Thursday.

“The President of the United States has got a disease which kills people. People are de-risking because of that,” Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone in Melbourne, said Trump’s diagnosis comes at a particularly sensitive point in the election after this week’s acrimonious presidential debate.

“This does damage Trump’s ability to campaign and time is running out before the election,” Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Tokyo, said.

Meanwhile, yields on 10-year US Treasury bonds fell more than 1 bps to 0.66 percent, just above a one-month low, a classic signal of investors seeking so-called safe havens.

Risk aversion was evident in the currency markets, with the Chinese yuan traded offshore under particular pressure

8.30am update: FTSE 100 unnchanged at opening

The euro at 8am was 0.9115 pounds compared to 0.9115 pounds at the previous close.

The pound at 8am was 1.2875 dollars compared to 1.2897 dollars at the previous close.



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