Monday, December 6

Dollar, yen jump after Trump tests positive for COVID-19

Article content

SINGAPORE — The dollar jumped and the safe-haven yen hit its highest level of the week on Friday after US President Donald Trump said he tested positive for COVID-19 and entered quarantine.

The news could cause a new wave of market volatility as investors brace for the hotly-contested presidential election in November.

The greenback rose about half a percent on the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars, while the yen was up roughly 0.3% at 105.27 per dollar, its highest since Monday.

The euro fell 0.3% to $1.1716.

The yen made even larger gains against other currencies, amid a broad shift out of riskier assets and commodities. Volumes in Asia were lightened by holidays in China.

Trump said on Twitter that he and his wife Melania tested positive for the coronavirus and would quarantine.

Analysts said this could upend the campaign, but that the medium-term implications for currencies were not immediately clear.

“It has the potential to reduce Trump’s campaigning ability,” said Sean Callow at Westpac.

“It’s also hurts him as far as the whole narrative that it’s really not much to worry about – it puts the COVID crisis itself back front and center…But does it shift polls? I just don’t know.”