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Stocks Mixed, Dollar Higher After Trump Leaves Hospital

This handout photo released by the White House shows US President Donald Trump and his Chief of Staff (not pictured) participating in a phone call with the US Vice President, Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 4, 2020, in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. President Donald Trump has “continued to improve” as he is treated for Covid-19 at a military hospital near Washington, his doctors said October 4, adding that he could be discharged as early as October 5. Tia DUFOUR / The White House / AFP


Stock markets diverged Tuesday as investors dwelled on US election uncertainty after President Donald Trump returned to the White House following hospital treatment for COVID-19.

Traders reacted to Trump’s discharge from hospital as political concerns persisted before the presidential vote on November 3.

The dollar rose against the euro but declined against the yen, while oil prices continued to win back ground from last week’s heavy losses.

Global equities had rebounded Monday on reports of Trump’s improving health, while lawmakers in Congress appeared to edge towards agreeing on a new stimulus package.

“Today’s reversal (in Europe) is just indicative of the fact that all is not as rosy as some want to believe,” OANDA analyst Craig Erlam told AFP.

“This is still going to be a controversial, drawn-out election with the potential added uncertainty of a challenge to the result.”

Erlam added: “There’s a huge cloud of uncertainty hanging over the economy and markets right now.”

Investors remain unclear over the status of a new US stimulus package that would help combat chronic fallout from the pandemic in the world’s biggest economy, dealers said.

Analysts said Trump’s positive test for Covid-19 could be the jolt US lawmakers needed to finally agree a deal.

Stimulus talks have revived with a series of mostly phone meetings between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democrat House leader Nancy Pelosi.

The speaker’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said the two planned to hold another call Tuesday.

“As far as traders are concerned, talking is preferable to being in a stand-off and not engaging with each other,” noted David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets UK.

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Analysts are meanwhile pointing to polls showing that Democrat Joe Biden could beat Republican Trump in next month’s vote.

“Trump has work to do in the battlegrounds to swing back in his favour,” said analyst Neil Wilson.

Polls put Biden between 10 and 14 points ahead nationally and leading in crucial swing states.

– Key figures around 0950 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 per cent at 5,908.59 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.2 per cent at 12,807.50

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 per cent at 4,864.17

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 per cent at 3,209.72

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 23,433.73 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 23,980.65 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: Closed for a holiday

New York – Dow Jones: UP 1.7 per cent at 28,148.64 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1771 from $1.1783 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.55 yen from 105.75 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2991 from $1.2979

Euro/pound: UP at 90.63 pence from 90.79 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.2 per cent at $39.69 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.2 per cent at $41.79

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