LONDON – 1/COVID THROWS US ELECTION CURVEBALL
Donald Trump has joined the list of world leaders who fell prey to the coronavirus after shrugging off risks, scorning masks and making public appearances without following distancing guidelines. But a U.S. president testing positive, four weeks before elections, will cause far more ructions than the recent illnesses of the Brazilian or British leaders.
His quarantine period, as campaigning enters its final stretch, could help Democratic challenger Joe Biden cement his sizeable poll lead. But the possibility of Trump being hospitalised, any cabinet members falling ill, or calls to postpone elections will mean a major setback for stock markets.
A rush to hedge such risks is lifting gold prices as well as equity and currency volatility. In reality, all bets are off — even Betfair has suspended punts on the election outcome.
(Graphic: Market volatility – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/qzjpqnglwvx/vol.PNG)
European finance ministers meet on Monday