One trader in Tokyo said his ‘head was about explode’ when the news from Washington broke as prices for both Brent Crude and US Crude oil slumped by 3 percent.
Trump, who has boasted of how he brought US markets to record highs, revealed he had the virus in a tweet shortly before 6am UK time: ‘Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!’
Market analysts said it was ‘the last of the Biden pricing getting done’ with investors banking that the illness will lay Trump low ahead of crucial campaign hours before November 3.
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to participate in the first presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020
The president tweeted to confirm the news shortly before 1am EST Friday
Melania also tweeted to confirm the news
The news sent Dow futures tumbling 1.9 percent, while the S&P 500 shed 1.9 percent.
Safe-haven assets rallied, with the Japanese yen – a go-to in times of turmoil and uncertainty – rose to 105 per dollar, from 105.60 earlier in the day.
A TIMELINE OF THE PRESIDENT’S TRAVEL
Saturday, September 26: Trump announces his Supreme Court pick at the White House, then travels to a rally in Pennsylvania with aides including Hope Hicks.
Sunday, September 27: The president plays golf in Virginia, gives a press conference in the White House briefing room and hosts a reception for Gold Star families.
Monday, September 28: Trump gives a press briefing and inspects pickup vehicles on the White House lawn.
Tuesday, September 29: Hicks is aboard Air Force One with the president and Melania to travel to the first presidential debate in Cleveland. Hicks is seen leaving the jet without a mask.
The president spars with Joe Biden in a chaotic debate. Trump family members do not wear masks during the debate, violating venue rules.
Wednesday, September 30: Hicks travels on Marine One and on Air Force One to a rally in Minnesota Wednesday.
She is understood to have felt poorly on the way back, quarantining on the presidential plane to get home.
Thursday, October 1: Trump still travels to New Jersey for a fundraiser.
Hicks tests positive.
Trump says he is awaiting test results, before confirming he and wife Melania have tested positive for Covid-19.
Friday, October 2: A political rally in Sanford, Florida is cancelled.
The greenback climbed against higher-yielding currencies including the Australian dollar and South Korean won, while gold jumped more than one percent and oil prices continued their downward spiral.
Japan’s Nikkei sank 0.7 percent at the close of a volatile day in Tokyo following a hardware-related outage and traders were brought to their knees by the news from Washington.
‘I feel like my head is about to explode,’ said Takeo Kamai, head of execution services at CLSA Japan. ‘When I heard the news (about Trump), I thought, ‘Give me a break.”
Sydney, Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok were all down more than one percent but Manila and Wellington both rose.
Gold is trading up by around 0.2 percent, and investors have flocked to the safety of haven currencies.
The president had taken a test after his close White House aide Hope Hicks had tested positive earlier in the day, meaning he will now have to go into quarantine just weeks before one of the most crucial elections the country has ever had.
His doctor Scott Conley said the couple intended to stay at the White House ‘during their convalescence’.
‘Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments,’ he added.
The White House cancelled a planned campaign rally in the crucial swing state of Florida on Friday, and 32 days before the November 3 vote against Democrat Joe Biden, it also looked certain Trump would have to cancel a slew of other trips scheduled for this weekend and next.
Axi analyst Stephen Innes said the announcement would likely increase Biden’s already good chances of winning.
‘The risk-off reaction to Trump’s positive Covid-19 test feels like the last of the Biden pricing is getting done,’ he said in a note. ‘The quarantine will mean he misses three swing state rallies – with critical Florida among them.’
Sentiment had already been weak as hopes for a new US rescue package fade.
Democrats pushed their latest $2.2 trillion proposal through the House, where they hold a majority, but without any opposition support, there is no chance it will be agreed by the Republican-dominated Senate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a series of talks Thursday to find a way through the deadlock but when asked whether a chance still remained for an agreement, Pelosi replied: ‘I don’t know.’
WEDNESDAY: The crowd cheers as Air Force One arrives with President Donald Trump at Duluth International Airport on Wednesday. His counselor Hope Hicks had joined the president on the trip and felt poorly on the way home, according to reports
OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley added that ‘having built hopes higher steadily over the past few sessions that the US Republicans and Democrats were edging closer to a new fiscal stimulus package, a sense of deja vu has swept markets’.
He said that with Republicans offering about $600 billion less than Democrats, their difference was ‘less insurmountable than previous weeks. Sadly, it appears there is no sign that either side is prepared to cross the spread, or even meet in the middle’.
The need for a new deal was highlighted by news that Americans’ personal income had fallen more than expected in September, while several big-name firms including Walt Disney, American Airlines and United had cut tens of thousands of posts.
For crude, ‘a move higher is only possible if a fiscal agreement is reached’, said Axi’s Stephen Innes.
Markets in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, Seoul and Taipei were all closed for holidays.
How 74-year-old Trump’s risk of hospitalization is five times greater than someone who contracts COVID in their 20s and he has a 90 times greater risk of death, according to CDC
At 74 years old, the president is five times more likely to be hospitalized from the virus and 90 times more likely to die than a patient in their 20s, CDC figures show.
Trump and his wife Melania confirmed they had both tested positive for coronavirus early Friday, just hours after top White House aide Hope Hicks was confirmed to have contracted the virus.
Trump and Hicks traveled together on Air Force One multiple times over the last week, including to attend the shambolic opening presidential debate against Joe Biden on Tuesday night.
But while Hicks at 31 years old is considered a low risk patient, at 74 years of age, Trump faces a much higher chance of being hospitalized with the virus, and falling victim to its harshest symptoms.
According to CDC statistics, patients between the ages of 65 and 74 are five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than someone aged 18 to 29.
Patients of Trump’s age also have a 90 times greater risk of death in comparison to their younger counterparts.
At 74 years of age, Trump faces a much higher chance of being hospitalized with the virus, and falling victim to its harshest symptoms.
WEDNESDAY: Counselor to the President Hope Hicks, left, with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, walk from Marine One to accompany President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One as he departs to a rally in Minnesota. It was on the way home from this trip that Hicks is said to have first shown symptoms of the virus
According to CDC statistics, patients between the ages of 65 and 74 are five times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than someone aged 18 to 29. Patients in the elder category are also 90 times more likely to die in comparison to their younger counterparts
For every 1,000 people in their mid-seventies or older who are infected by COVID-19, around 116 will die – a fatality rate of 8.6 percent.
Trends in coronavirus deaths have been clear since early in the pandemic, with studies determining that age is by far the strongest predictor of an infected person’s risk of dying.
Henrik Salje, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge, UK, said ‘age cannot explain everything’, as gender is also said to be a strong risk factor – with men twice as likely to die from the virus than women.
Salje’s conclusions are supported by figures from the World Health Organization which said 1.7 percent of women who catch the virus will die compared to 2.8 percent of men, even though neither sex is more likely to catch it.
Underlying health conditions and health issues, such as diabetes and obesity, also have a significant impact on how severe a case of COVID-19 might be.
The CDC warned earlier this year that anyone considered ‘severely obese’ may raise risk of a severe reaction to COVID-19.
Following his annual physical this year, Trump’s physician Dr. Sean Conley said Trump was 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 244 pounds.
Trump, who was 73 at the time, had gained one pound since his last examination in 2019. It also showed the president’s cholesterol level had slightly improved to 167 from 196 the year before.
Officially, Trump’s height and weight would equate to a body mass index (BMI) of 30.4 – a fraction over the 30.0 level to be considered obese in the lowest of three tiers.
His previous doctor, Ronny Jackson, said in 2018 that Trump’s ‘overall health is excellent [but] … he would benefit from a diet that is lower in fat and carbohydrates and from a routine exercise regiment.’
Trump, the oldest president to ever take office, doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke. However, he is known to enjoy fast food, steaks and ice cream, while golfing is his primary source of exercise.