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European markets lower as Trump tests positive for coronavirus

European stocks traded lower Friday morning after President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had both tested positive for Covid-19.

.FTSEFTSE 100FTSE5832.80-46.65-0.79224403840
.FCHICAC 40 IndexCAC4773.10-50.94-1.0628135739

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.8% by late morning, with oil and gas sliding 1.7% to lead losses as almost all sectors and major bourses traded in negative territory.

It comes shortly after the U.S. president, 74, confirmed that he and Melania Trump, 50, were going into quarantine.

“We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Trump said via Twitter.

Hope Hicks, the 31-year-old advisor to Trump, had tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the day. Hicks had traveled with the president on Air Force One to a televised debate held in Ohio this week.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower on the news, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index shedding more than 1.39% to lead losses. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.67% for the session after the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed normal trading following its worst-ever outage.

Stateside, stock futures plunged in early morning deals as investors reacted to the news of Trump’s positive Covid-19 test. Futures on he Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 449 points, with Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures in negative territory.

On the data front, market participants are likely to closely monitor the U.S. Labor Department’s report on nonfarm payrolls and the jobless rate later in the session.

Stocks on the move

Looking at individual stocks, gold mining firm Centamin plunged 19% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 Friday after it forecast a fall in annual production amid delays to some operations at its key Sukari mine in Egypt.

Britain’s Ocado fell 4.9% after a lawsuit was brought against the e-commerce firm over alleged patent infringement.

At the top of the benchmark, Spanish construction giant ACS surged 20% after revealing French rival Vinci has submitted a bid to buy its construction business Cobra for 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion). It also comes as a joint venture owned by ACS won a bid to build the new terminal of San Diego’s international airport.

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