Financial markets breathe easier as Trump shows signs of recovery

US President Donald Trump’s controversial drive-by to greet supporters outside the hospital where he is receiving treatment for the coronavirus, and an upbeat assessment by his doctors, have given financial markets a boost on Monday.

But analysts warned that thePpresident’s health could be a source of heightened volatility in markets in the coming days as the November 3 US presidential election draws nearer.

US stocks appeared to be headed for a higher open, with benchmark S&P 500 Index futures up 0.66 percent and Nasdaq index futures rising by 0.96 percent during Asian afternoon trading.

Most Asian stock markets were also higher, with Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index jumping 2.6 percent, its biggest one-day gain in nearly two weeks, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 1.3 percent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.6 percent, while mainland China’s markets are closed for a holiday.

Oil prices were also up strongly, with Brent crude futures up 2.3 percent and US crude gaining 2.6 percent.

“Every milestone in Trump’s condition, good or bad, can be expected to trigger a shift in risk appetite,” Vandana Hari, founder and CEO of energy research firm Vanda Insights, wrote in a note distributed to clients on the Smartkarma platform.

“Meanwhile, confusion and conspiracy theories, already bubbling in the social media, suggest that markets might be operating without the full picture, further accentuating volatility,” she added.

The medical team treating Trump, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus late last week, says the president was given the steroid dexamethasone because his blood oxygen levels dipped but that he “continued to improve” and could return to the White House as soon as Monday.


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