The ASX sank deeper into the red towards the end of trade after the US President confirmed his COVID diagnosis. Picture: Damian Shaw
The ASX sank deeper into the red towards the end of trade after the US President confirmed his COVID diagnosis. Picture: Damian Shaw

ASX sinks deeper into red after Trump diagnosis

The Australian share market slumped after US President Donald Trump confirmed he had tested positive for coronavirus, more than wiping out the gains made yesterday.

The S&P/ASX200 finished 1.39 per cent lower at 57915.5 while the All Ordinaries Index slid 1.42 per cent to 5983.2.

CommSec analyst Steve Daghlian said the market started the trading day in the red, weighed down by most sectors excluding tech stocks.

But in the final hour, all sectors sank lower on the news Mr Trump and first lady Melania Trump had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and were in quarantine, creating uncertainty about the forthcoming presidential election.

And if there's one thing the market hates, it's uncertainty.

Mesoblast tanked 37.2 per cent to $3.19 after the US Food and Drug Administration called for at least one more study demonstrating the company's remestemcel-L therapy can treat steroid-refractory acute graft versus host disease, which is life-threatening for children under 12.

The ASX started out weak and sank further in the final hour of trade.
The ASX started out weak and sank further in the final hour of trade.

Copper and gold miner Oz Minerals was also a poor performer, shedding 6.3 per cent to $13.38 while Australia's biggest producer of the precious metal, Newcrest, was one of the few stocks in the green, up 0.8 per cent at $31.29.

Among the major iron ore producers, Rio Tinto weakened 1.89 per cent to $93.60, BHP dropped 3.2 per cent to $35.12 and Fortescue retreated 3.6 per cent to $16.08.

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the crude oil price "viciously dipped" overnight, mainly amid deep scepticism from US House Speaker Pelosi on the possibility of any US stimulus.

Local oil stocks fell accordingly, with Oil Search down almost 6 per cent to $2.52 and Cooper Energy losing 5.8 per cent to 32.5 cents.

ANZ dropped 1.78 per cent to $17.08, Commonwealth Bank inched 0.5 per cent lower to $63.72, National Australia Bank gave up 1.9 per cent to $17.49 and Westpac retreated 2.07 per cent to $16.57.

The Aussie dollar was buying 71.6 US cents, 55.59 British pence and 61 Euro cents in afternoon trade.

Originally published as ASX sinks deeper into red after Trump diagnosis


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