US stock futures and world markets fell Friday after President Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus. The future contracts for both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials dropped nearly 2% but were trading 1.2% lower several hours later, the AP reports. Oil prices tumbled about 3%. The positive test reading for the leader of the world's largest economy heaps uncertainty onto a growing pile of unknowns investors are grappling with, first among them how it might affect the Nov. 3 election and American policies on trade, tariffs, and many other issues beyond then.
“To say this potentially could be a big deal is an understatement,” Rabobank said in a commentary. “Anyway, everything now takes a backseat to the latest incredible twist in this US election campaign.” A statement issued by Trump's doctor saying both he and his wife were well and that he would continue his duties appeared to calm the markets' reaction. Germany's DAX gave up 0.6% to 12,649.29 and the CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.6% to 4,796.97. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.5% to 5,850.86. Trump tweeted news of his test results just hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks had come down with the virus after traveling with the president several times this week.
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