Trump, Paris coronavirus alert hit European stocks

President Trump tested positive for COVID-19, hitting equity markets globally

European stocks slid on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, hitting equity markets globally.

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The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.5%, although pulling back from early losses of as much as 1.1%.

The German DAX and France's CAC 40 dropped 0.8% each, while UK's FTSE 100 declined 0.6%.

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Trump said on Friday that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for COVID-19 and were going into quarantine, with just weeks to go before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

"At this stage, it is too early to tell yet how this may affect the election outcome. Markets have sold off in a knee jerk reaction to the news, which is understandable," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at ANZ in Singapore.

PRESIDENT TRUMP CONFIRMS HE, FIRST LADY MELANIA TRUMP HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

Meanwhile, Paris is set to be placed on maximum COVID-19 alert from as soon as Monday, a move likely to force the closure of restaurants and bars and impose further restrictions on public life.

Data showed international tourist arrivals to Spain fell 76% year-on-year in August, as restrictions related to the pandemic dissuaded many from travelling. Madrid, which is Europe's worst COVID-19 hotspot, will also go back into a lockdown.

STOCK FUTURES PLUNGE AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP CONFIRMS HE HAS CORONAVIRUS

Travel & leisure shares fell 0.5%.

Chemical stocks fell the most with a 1% loss, followed by automakers and industrial sectors.

Gold miner Centamin slumped 19.6% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after it forecast a fall in annual production as it delayed some open-pit mining operations at its key Sukari mine in Egypt.

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Shares in French telecom companies Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad rose between 0.8% and 3.9% following the results of an auction of the country's 5G spectrum sale.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar; Additional reporting by Nikhil Nainan; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shounak Dasgupta)