US futures stock extend losses as Trump tests positive for COVID-19

US futures stock extended losses on Friday after Donald Trump said he and his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus, weeks ahead of elections.

Iran PressAmerica: Futures suggested Wall Street would open 1 percent to 2 percent lower as the political leadership of the United States was thrown into doubt.

Futures markets that track stocks in the United States signaled that Wall Street would open more than 1.5 percent lower.

Futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 slid 1.21% 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 earlier said on Twitter that he and his wife had been tested for coronavirus after Hope Hicks, a senior advisor who recently traveled with the president, tested positive.

He later tweeted he and the first lady had tested positive: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” he said.

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 center.”

Reports that the Japanese government is preparing new stimulus measures to help the economy recover from a prolonged downturn worsened by the coronavirus pandemic provided only a temporary lift. 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 0.5% higher, 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 big tech-oriented stocks propped up the market, much as they have through the pandemic.

New York Times reported that the virus has been brought into Trump's inner circle and underscoring the difficulty of containing it even with the resources of a president.

With just 33 days before the presidential election on Nov. 3, Trump is now possibly being sidelined for at least two weeks.

NYT predicted that even if Trump remains asymptomatic, he will have to withdraw from the campaign trail and stay isolated in the White House for an unknown period of time.

If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all.


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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania tested positive for COVID-19