Trump tests positive for coronavirus

European stocks traded lower Friday morning after President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had both tested positive for Covid-19.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.8% in early morning deals, with all sectors and major bourses trading firmly in the red. 

It comes shortly after the U.S. president, 74, confirmed that he and Melania Trump, 50, were going into quarantine.

“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump said via Twitter.

Hope Hicks, the 31-year-old advisor to Trump, had tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the day. Hicks had traveled with the president on Air Force One to a televised debate held in Ohio this week.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower on the news, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index shedding more than 1.3% to lead losses. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.8% for the session after the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed normal trading following its worst-ever outage.

Stateside, stock futures plunged in early morning deals as investors reacted to the news of Trump’s positive Covid-19 test. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 500 points, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 in negative territory.

On the data front, market participants are likely to closely monitor the U.S. Labor Department’s report on nonfarm payrolls and the jobless rate later in the session.

Stocks on the move

Looking at individual stocks, gold mining firm Centamin plunged 17% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 Friday after it forecast a fall in annual production amid delays to some operations at its key Sukari mine in Egypt.

Britain’s Ocado fell over 3% after a lawsuit was brought against the e-commerce firm over alleged patent infringement.

At the top of the benchmark, Spanish construction giant ACS climbed 8% after revealing French rival Vinci has submitted a bid to buy its construction business Cobra for 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion). It also comes as a joint venture owned by ACS won a bid to build the new terminal of San Diego’s international airport.

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