Asia Morning: U.S. Stocks Impacted by Trump's Positive Virus Test

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed over 400 points...

Trading floor 2

On Friday, U.S. stocks ended in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed over 400 points at the open before working its way back to close at 27682, down 134 points (-0.48%) on day. The S&P 500 lost 32 points (-0.96%) to 3348, and the Nasdaq 100 plunged 327 points (-2.83%) to 11255.


Nasdaq 100 Index: Daily Chart


Sources: GAIN Capital, TradingView


The breaking news that President Donald Trump and first lady Melania tested positive for COVID-19 sent investors to a risk-off mode. And surely uncertainties surrounding the presidential election are mounting.

On Sunday, Trump's medical team revealed that he could be discharged from hospital on Monday the soonest.


At the same time, the closely-watched September U.S. Jobs Report showed labor market weakness. The economy added 661,000 Nonfarm Payrolls, lower than +872,000 expected, with the jobless rate declining to  7.9%, better than 8.2% expected.  

Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment (-3.33%), Technology Hardware & Equipment (-2.71%) and Media (-2.38%) sectors lost the most on Friday. Activision Blizzard (ATVI -5.3%), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX -4.65%), Netflix (NFLX -4.63%) and Analog Devices (ADI -4.19%) were top losers.

Approximately 62% (61% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average and 50% (49% in the prior session) were trading above their 20-day moving average.

Also, the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index (final reading) rose to 80.4 in September (79.0 expected), Factory Orders rose 0.7% on month in August (+0.9% expected), and Durable Goods Orders (final reading) increased 0.5% on month in August (+0.4% expected).

European stocks were mixed. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.25%, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 0.39%, France's CAC 40 was broadly flat, while Germany's DAX 30 dropped 0.33%, 

U.S. Treasury prices ended lower as stocks pared some losses. The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield advanced to 0.690%.

Spot gold slipped $6 to $1,899 an ounce.

Crude oil's sell-off deepened. U.S. WTI crude oil futures (November) fell $1.77 (-4.57%) to $36.95 at the close.

On the forex front, The ICE Dollar Index erased earlier gains to close slightly higher at 93.81, halting a four-session losing streak.

The Japanese yen was bought as Trump's virus diagnosis triggered a surge in haven bids, pulling USD/JPY down to 104.94. The pair then bounced to close at 105.35, down 0.16% on day.

GBP/USD managed to regain the 1.2900 level as it rose 0.31% to 1.2931.

EUR/USD fell 0.27% to 1.1716. Official data showed that Consumer Prices in the Eurozone edged up 0.1% on month in September (as expected).

AUD/USD slid 0.33% to 0.7161, ending a four-day rally. Official data showed that Australia's Retail Sales dropped 4.0% in August (-4.2% expected, -3.2% in July).

USD/CAD closed 0.13% higher to regain the 1.3300 level.

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