United States stock futures extended losses on Friday after President Donald Trump said he and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, weeks ahead of elections.
Futures for the S&P 500 slid 1.21 percent by early afternoon in Asia, while US Treasury yields also fell as bond prices rose.
The US dollar was also higher, particularly against the British pound, the Australian and New Zealand dollars as investors sought what they consider relatively safe assets.
Trump said on Twitter that he and his wife had been tested for coronavirus after Hope Hicks, a senior adviser who recently travelled with the president, tested positive.
He later tweeted that he and the first lady had tested positive: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” he said.
Trump’s positive coronavirus test result could cause a new wave of market volatility as investors brace for the hotly contested presidential election in November.
“It has the potential to reduce Trump’s campaigning ability. He’s got a lot on and it’s an interruption,” said Sean Callow, currency strategist at Westpac in Sydney.
“It also hurts him as far as the whole narrative that it’s really not much to worry about – it puts the COVID crisis itself back front and centre.”
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.27 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.98 percent as a decline in oil and copper prices weighed on the country’s resources sector.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index erased gains and fell 0.69 percent as the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed normal trading after its worst-ever outage brought the world’s third-largest equity market to a standstill.
Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.06 percent, German DAX futures rose 0.03 percent, but FTSE futures were down by 1.02 percent.
Markets had been choppy early on Friday after a spate of data, including jobless claims and consumer spending, suggested that the plodding US economic recovery could be losing steam.
Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.7 percent. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell to 0.6545 percent.
China’s stock and bond markets, foreign exchange and commodity futures markets are closed from October 1-8 for the Golden Week holiday. South Korean and Hong Kong markets are also closed on Friday for holidays.
US markets kicked off the fourth quarter by closing higher on Thursday while investors tracked progress in negotiations for additional fiscal stimulus.
Bank Stocks Top Charts Amid Strong Third Quarter Performance
Bank stocks top both gainers’ and top traded stocks’ charts on Tuesday as investors at the Nigerian Stock Exchange continues to increase their holdings of banks’ stocks amid strong third-quarter financial results.
Zenith Bank led the most traded stocks for a second consecutive day on Tuesday following a declaration of N509 billion gross earnings and N177 billion profit after tax in the first nine months of the year.
Investors traded 71,933,841 shares of Zenith Bank valued at N1,730,151,404.20 during the trading hours of Tuesday.
Transcorp, the only non-bank stock on the top five trades, followed Zenith Bank with 37,172,526 shares worth N32,853,263.27.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) exchanged 30,003,182 units, 29,549,235 units and 29,332,033 units estimated at N1,022,126,997.60, N243,311,726.70 and N236,303,261.20, respectively.
Investors exchanged a total of 365.414 million shares valued at N4.692 billion in 6,325 deals on Tuesday to return the bourse to the green zone after two days of consecutive declines.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation rose by N114 billion from N17.829 trillion it closed on Monday to N17.943 trillion on Tuesday. While the NSE All-Share Index gained 220.82 index points or 0.06 percent to 34,349.56 index points it settled on Tuesday, up from 34,119.74 index points on Monday.
Stanbic IBTC Bank led gainers with N2.8 or 7.08 percent gain to finish the day at N42.35 per share. See the details below.
Insider Dealing: Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, MD Flour Mills, Purchased 1.95 Million Shares in Flour Mills
In a disclosure statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the management of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc said Paul Miyonmide Gbededo, the Group Managing Director, purchased 1,949,839 shares in the company.
In a statement signed by Umolu Joseph, the Company Secretary and Director, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Gbededo bought the 1,948,839 shares at N28 per unit on November 17, 2020.
The Managing Director invested N54,567,492 in Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc in a move that suggested confidence in the future of the company.
The disclosure is in line with the Nigerian Security and Exchange Commission’s new policy on insider dealings. See the transaction details below.
Insider Dealing: Chide Agbapu Buys 1 Million Shares in Fidelity Bank
The management of Fidelity Bank on Friday said Mr. Chidi Agbapu, a non-executive director, bought 1,000,000 shares of Fidelity Bank Plc.
In line with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) disclosure policy, the lender said Agbapu purchased the shares in two different transactions on November 9, 2020.
According to a statement signed by Ezinwa Unuigboje, Company Secretary, Fidelity Bank, the shares were purchase in two deals of 500,000 units each at N2.75 per share. See the details below.
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