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FTSE 100 to open lower after Trump tests positive for COVID-19

London's leading shares are set to open on the back foot ahead of the release this afternoon of US jobs figures for September.

Spread betting quotes point to the FTSE 100 opening some 58 points lower at around 5,821.

“A short while ago it was announced that Donald Trump tested positive for COVID -19, so no doubt he will quarantine. This put pressure on US index futures and European indices are called lower,” suggested CMCs David Madden.

US indices had a reasonably solid day yesterday with the Dow rising 35 points to close at 27,817 and the S&P 500 climbing 18 points to 3,381.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 was off 19 points at 23,166. Hong Kong was closed for a market holiday.

Other than speculating about what outlandish comment Trump will make about his coronavirus status, traders will be focusing on the US jobs numbers.

Monthly increases in new jobs have been getting smaller in recent months, prompting some economists to argue the US labour market and US economy are stalling a bit, perhaps as a result of fresh local COVID flare-ups and lockdowns.

“By the time the next Non-Farm Payrolls is released, the US election will have passed. That means today's number assumes a greater than usual significance, with a weak number possibly becoming a campaign issue in the absence of a stimulus deal. The same could also be said if the data outperform, with the Republicans using their economic stewardship card to try and close their polling gap. Either way, the data should ensure we have an energetic finish to the week. said Jeffrey Halley, market analyst at Oanda.

Augusts initial reading came in at 1.37mln new jobs, with the unemployment rate dropping to 8.4% from 10.2% in July.

The consensus forecast for September's non-farm payrolls is 850K, with the unemployment rate easing to 8.2%.

Around the markets

  • Sterling: US$1.2860, down 0.27 cents
  • 10-year gilt: yielding 0.238%, up 0.6 basis points
  • Gold: US$1,899.20 an ounce, down US$17.10
  • Brent crude: US$40.14 a barrel, down 78 cents
  • Bitcoin: US$10,512, down US$102.

6.45 am: Early Markets: Asia / Australia

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and India are closed today for holidays.

The other markets in Asia-Pacific mostly declined as oil crude futures dropped nearly 2.9% today on COVID-19 concerns after falling more than 3% on Thursday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shed 0.86% in afternoon trade while Australias S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.36%.

Australias retail sales data for August fell 4% on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data from the countrys Bureau of Statistics.

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Imugene Ltd (ASX:IMU) (OTCMKTS:IUGNF) has received a Notice of Grant from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for Patent Application 16/292032, which protects its cancer growth factor immunotherapy platform.

Alto Metals Ltds (ASX:AME) preliminary test-work of Lord Nelson primary zone mineralisation within the Sandstone Gold Project in WA has returned "excellent" average gold recoveries of 96%.

Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) has appointed highly experienced mining executive Steve Zaninovich to the board as a non-executive director to support the restructure and evolution of the company.

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