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U.S. stock futures rise on Trump's health progress

Stanley White
·2-min read
People wearing protective masks, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, are reflected on a screen showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo
People wearing protective masks, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, are reflected on a screen showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo

By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures rose on Monday on hopes that President Donald Trump could be discharged from hospital later in the day, easing some of the political uncertainty that shook Wall Street in the previous session.

Trump, 74, was flown to hospital for treatment for the coronavirus on Friday, but his doctors say he has responded well and could return to the White House on Monday.

S&P 500 e-mini futures <EScv1> rose 0.45% in early Asian trading, while Nasdaq futures <NQc1> gained 0.58%.

Asian markets looked set to follow that lead with Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures <YAPcm1> up 1.16%, Japanese stock futures <NKc1> rising 0.75%, and ​Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures <.HSI> <.HSIc1> up 1.38%.

The dollar edged higher against the yen but fell slightly against the Swiss franc as traders jockeyed for position ahead would could be a volatile day in global markets.

Doctors treating Trump say they are pleased with his progress. Relief about his health could fuel a rally in equities and other risky assets as investors prepare for the run-up to next month's U.S. presidential election.

"Equities and other risk-on traders should be well supported by easing concerns about Trump's health," said Junichi Ishikawa, senior currency strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

"For the dollar, the impact is not quite as clear cut. It should fall against most currencies due to an increase in risk appetite, but the yen is also weak, and that's the one currency the dollar can rise against."

Investors around the world were stunned late Thursday after Trump announced that he and the first lady had tested positive for coronavirus.

With less than a month until the presidential election on Nov. 3, Trump's contraction of the coronavirus is another source of market volatility that makes the outcome of the vote even more difficult to predict.

In currency markets, the dollar rose 0.19% to 105.54 yen <JPY=D3> but fell 0.48% to 0.9171 Swiss franc <CHF=EBS> as some investors adjusted positions in safe-harbour currencies.

Gold <XAU=>, another asset often bought during times of uncertainty, rose 0.1% to $1,900.92

Brent crude futures <LCOc1> rose 0.25% to $39.37 a barrel while U.S. crude futures <CLc1> gained 0.4% to $37.20 per barrel.

(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Sam Holmes)