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World markets dip after Trump tests positive for coronavirus

WASHINGTON: US stock futures plunged on Friday after President Donald Trump said that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus.

Dow futures were last down 450 points or 1.6 per cent. S&P 500 futures were down 1.6 per cent and Nasdaq futures were down 1.9 per cent.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for Covid-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately," Trump tweeted shortly before 1 am eastern time on Friday. "We will get through this TOGETHER!"

Earlier, US stock futures trended lower as the fate of a massive US stimulus plan remained uncertain, and as news broke that top Trump aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus.
Trump said that he and his wife will be tested and start a quarantine process. Losses quickly accelerated after Trump said those tests were positive.

Stocks in Asia Pacific also slid on the news. Japan's Nikkei quickly erased earlier gains and dropped 0.7 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was last down 1.5 per cent.

Other markets in the region including those in India, Hong Kong, mainland China and South Korea are closed for public holidays.

Oil futures also tumbled. US crude futures fell 3.6 per cent to 37.31 dollars per barrel while Brent, the world oil benchmark, lost 3.3 per cent to hit 39.59 dollars per barrel. Both hd settled lower on Thursday.

The Japanese yen, a traditional safe haven currency, surged against the greenback. It was last trading at about 105 yen per US dollar, up 0.5 per cent.

 

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