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European Stocks Slump; Trump Tests Covid Positive

Stock MarketsOct 02, 2020 03:29AM ET
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© Reuters

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com - European stock markets traded lower Friday, with the news that U.S. President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus weighing heavily on sentiment by greatly increasing the uncertainty around the November elections.

At 3:30 AM ET (0730 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.8% lower, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.8% and the U.K.'s FTSE index dropped 0.7%.

Earlier Friday, President Trump confirmed, via a tweet, that he and his wife Melania had contracted the Covid-19 virus, just a few hours after a top aide he had spent substantial time with this week had also tested positive. However, he continues to work as normal from the White House.  

“The question is how sick he gets and to what extent this is going to affect his presidential campaign,” said analysts at Danske Bank, in a research note.

“Another question is whether other members of the U.S. government are infected. The uncertainty has affected risk appetite and thus equities.”

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion Democrat-only fiscal stimulus package late Thursday. However, this bill, however, is extremely unlikely to pass through the Republican-dominated Senate, as sharp differences over the size and makeup of the package still exist.

Back in Europe, Equinor ASA (OL:EQNR) stock fell 0.5% after the Norwegian oil and gas firm outlined plans to cut its exploration staff by about 30% globally by 2023 to reduce costs as the pandemic hits the industry hard. Shares in many of the oil majors have slumped, with BP (LON:BP), Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) and Repsol (OTC:REPYY) all hitting 52-week lows in early trading. By contrast, renewables specialist Orsted (OTC:DOGEF) and wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa  (MC:SGREN) hit new all-time highs.

Elsewhere, Rolls-Royce (LON:RR) slumped 6.8% after the aero engine maker's 5 billion pound recapitalization plan, which revolves around a deeply discounted rights issue, struggled to gain acceptance.

Consumer inflation data for the euro zone headlines lead the European data slate Friday, but most attention will be on the official U.S. jobs report for a gauge on how the world’s largest economy is recovering.

“Jobless claims edged lower again, but remain incredibly elevated as labour market strains continue. Incomes have also been dropping back and spending growth is starting to slow as we see more evidence of a leveling off in the recovery,” wrote analysts at ING, in a research note.

Oil prices weakened Friday, continuing the selloff from the previous session, as concerns over what a resurgence in Covid-19 cases will do to the demand for crude, with the President's infection amplifying this concern, just as production starts to rise.

U.S. crude futures traded 2.4% lower at $37.80 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 2.7% to $39.83. Both contracts fell more than 3% Thursday, and are on course for a second consecutive week of declines.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,915.70/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1730.

 

European Stocks Slump; Trump Tests Covid Positive
 

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Comments (8)
abd irekti
abd irekti Oct 02, 2020 6:05AM ET
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Time to buy put
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Oct 02, 2020 5:12AM ET
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Slump? Stonks didnt even erase yesterdays gains
stanley shalala
stanley shalala Oct 02, 2020 4:58AM ET
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Trump and his fans are kinds of people that always ***up anything.
Dennis Gee
DGee Oct 02, 2020 4:58AM ET
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GFY
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Oct 02, 2020 4:43AM ET
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its sell the news alright. fools can fake it only so long against science. he's played high risk games for a long time with everything ... I bet he can forget about campaigning. the virus may or may not chew through his defenses. fear alone can put him down. if he gets it full blown its a long road to discovery. if biden didnt wear a mask and didnt get it it would be pure luck. i wouldnt be surprised if the virus was floating around at the debate -- can remain airborne over 4 hours
David David
David9 Oct 02, 2020 4:40AM ET
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The virus was 100% heading to him. He was holding big rallies with his supporters wearing no masks and yelling MAGA....
Fernando Lazarini
Fernando Lazarini Oct 02, 2020 4:22AM ET
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CNN crew is been excited this night.
David David
David9 Oct 02, 2020 4:22AM ET
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CNN said if he is in quarantined and the vice president has to quarantined also...then Nancy Pelosi should take over and run the country for now until Biden swore in...
Guy Israeli
Guy Israeli Oct 02, 2020 4:16AM ET
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Global investigation against China is needed as there are Chinese scientists claiming this virus started at a Chines laboratory.
David David
David9 Oct 02, 2020 4:16AM ET
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Investigation is happening but not just China...scientists are looking at the possibilities that the virus started here first and go to China...right now we don't know, all we really know for certain is the US is the worst country with containment...
Guy Katz
Guy Katz Oct 02, 2020 4:02AM ET
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God forbid if biden gets in
Michele Woo
Michele Woo Oct 02, 2020 4:02AM ET
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Maybe, just maybe, God made it clear that Biden should get in. How many signs of plague, pestilence, floods, etc. do you need to see before believing that God is displeased with the *current* state of things? Apocalyptic events definitely increased in the last three years.
Fernando Lazarini
Fernando Lazarini Oct 02, 2020 4:02AM ET
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Michele Woo chinese identified.
Greg Nathan
Greg Nathan Oct 02, 2020 4:02AM ET
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Michele Woo ,  God is for freedom and following the commandments.  The Dems steal.  Biden's son is a case and point.  I don't think God wants Biden.  He wants Freedom and Trump, where freedom is the top priority.  I think like everyone else, God will have to put up with Trump in order that the United States knows the most freedom going forward in the future from here.  It's not over.  I think President Trump and his wife get well and the President wins another term.  He will probably turn a disadvantage into an advantage.  Who knows how he might be able to take advantage of working from home...?  Makes the VP debates coming up all the more interesting.  Republicans might be voting for Pence.  I sure like how the VP handled the Q Anon interview I saw.  He was very firm while very diplomatic - absolutely respectable.  JMO.
 
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