U.S. dollar edges higher after Trump tests positive
Malaysia stocks set to snap two straight weeks of gains
Palm oil stocks in Malaysia stage minor rebound
India, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan on holiday
Oct 2 (Reuters) – Southeast Asia’s currencies eased on Friday with investors seeking safety in the U.S. dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, while hopes for further U.S. stimulus also waned.
Trump said he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 and would immediately quarantine and begin the “recovery process.”
The positive result raises the level of uncertainty ahead of the U.S. elections in November.
Appetite for riskier stocks was also overshadowed by concerns that a plan to provide more relief to the U.S. economy during the coronavirus outbreak would stall in the Senate, after being approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Stocks shed 0.9% in Singapore .STI and 0.7% in Jakarta .JKSEwhile stocks in Malaysia .KLSE and the Philippines .PSI edged higher.
Currencies in the region were largely weaker against the dollar =USD, with the rupiah IDR=, ringgit MYR= and Singapore dollar SGD= all down around 0.2% versus the greenback.
“It is prime time now for (the) U.S. election,” said Jingyi Pan, a senior market strategist at IG.
“Should the President be absent during this period, that could mean even more complications with the election.”
Trading volumes were thin in Asia with a host of places on holiday this Friday including, India, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
FGV Holdings FGVH.KL and other Malaysian palm oil producers rose on Friday after falling sharply in the previous session, when the United States blocked the entry of FGV’s palm oil products into the country over allegations of forced labour. Malaysia said it