Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
The dollar rose and the safe-haven yen made its sharpest jump in more than a month on Friday after US President Donald Trump said he tested positive for COVID-19, just a month ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
The news could cause a new wave of market volatility heading into the election. Trump, 74, is at high risk for the deadly virus both because of his age and because he is considered overweight.
The greenback gained about 0.6% on the risk-sensitive Australian dollar and the yen streaked ahead even further, gaining half a per cent on the dollar to a one-week high of 104.95, and rising more than 1% on the Aussie.
Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump had both tested positive and would begin a quarantine process immediately.
"The president of the United States has got a disease which kills people. People are de-risking because of that," said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone.
The euro fell 0.2% to $1.1725. Commodities and US stock futures also tumbled.
The Australian dollar was last down 0.6% at $0.7141 and the kiwi down 0.3% at $0.6629. Against a basket of six major currencies the dollar rose 0.1% to 93.824.
Weston and other analysts said Trump's diagnosis could hurt his campaign, but that the next implications for markets were not clear, and would depend on Trump's health, how far the virus has spread amongst top US politicians and on voters' response.
"As far as we know Trump is not gravely ill. It is possible that by the time we reach New York trading that markets will have calmed down," said Yako Sero, strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Tokyo.
"However, this does damage Trump's ability to campaign and time is running out before the election."
Sterling, already battered by Brexit turmoil on Thursday, hung on against the dollar but was punished against the yen. The pound fell 0.1% to $1.2872 and 0.5% to 135.22 yen.
Even before Trump's test, investors had already been on edge in Asia on signs that a hoped-for US fiscal stimulus package was stalled in Washington, and were nervously awaiting US jobs data due at 12:30 GMT for a read on the economy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have so far failed to bridge what Pelosi described as differences over dollars and values to secure the Congressional agreement needed to pass a relief bill.
US hiring likely increased by 850,000 jobs in September, according to a Reuters survey of economists, a slowdown from the previous month.
Meanwhile, concerns are also growing that coronavirus infection rates are climbing in Europe and the United States.
Madrid will become the first European capital to go back into lockdown in coming days to fight a steep surge in cases.
A record increase in new cases in Wisconsin on Thursday fanned fears of hospitals there being overwhelmed and the President's infection only highlights its prevalence.
"What this does say is that the risk of the virus picking up is still quite real," said Bank of Singapore FX analyst Moh Siong Sim. "The US infection rate is not going down anymore. This reminds people that the virus is still around."
The yen hit a six-month high against the dollar on Monday, gaining for a sixth consecutive session against the greenback as stock markets tumbled and pushed investors to the perceived safety of the Japanese currency.
Commodity currencies slipped against their safe-haven rivals such as the dollar and yen on Monday as a record output cut, agreed by OPEC and other oil producing nations, failed to offset broader concerns about slumping global demand.
The dollar index slipped to 94.21. It reached a two-month high of 94.745 last week and posted its biggest weekly rise since early April. Against the yen, the dollar was more subdued at 105.36 yen.
Speaking to a Pakistani private media channel after her meeting with Interim PM Anwaar-ul Haq Kakar, Georgieva said "what we are asking in our programme is that please collect more taxes from the wealthy and please protect the poor people of Pakistan."
The Ministry of Finance (MoF), in collaboration with the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), held two workshops at the headquarters of the Chambers of Commerce in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Paradigm 3D on Thursday opened the doors to its state-of-the-art Dhs20 million 3D-printing facility in Dubai — the first in the Middle East capable of producing parts