European stocks slide after Trump tests positive for COVID-19

FAN Editor
The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 1, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

October 2, 2020

(Reuters) – European stocks slid on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, hitting equity markets globally.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> fell 0.5%, although pulling back from early losses of as much as 1.1%.

The German DAX <.GDAXI> and France’s CAC 40 <.FCHI> dropped 0.8% each, while UK’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> declined 0.6%.

Trump said on Friday that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for COVID-19 and were going into quarantine, with just weeks to go before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“At this stage, it is too early to tell yet how this may affect the election outcome. Markets have sold off in a knee jerk reaction to the news, which is understandable,” said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Paris is set to be placed on maximum COVID-19 alert from as soon as Monday, a move likely to force the closure of restaurants and bars and impose further restrictions on public life.

Data showed international tourist arrivals to Spain fell 76% year-on-year in August, as restrictions related to the pandemic dissuaded many from travelling. Madrid, which is Europe’s worst COVID-19 hotspot, will also go back into a lockdown.

Travel & leisure shares <.SXTP> fell 0.5%.

Chemical stocks <.SX4P> fell the most with a 1% loss, followed by automakers <.SXAP> and industrial <.SXNP> sectors.

Gold miner Centamin <CEY.L> slumped 19.6% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after it forecast a fall in annual production as it delayed some open-pit mining operations at its key Sukari mine in Egypt.

Shares in French telecom companies Orange <ORAN.PA>, Bouygues Telecom <BOUY.PA> and Iliad <ILD.PA> rose between 0.8% and 3.9% following the results of an auction of the country’s 5G spectrum sale.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar; Additional reporting by Nikhil Nainan; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shounak Dasgupta)

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