Stocks rose on Monday morning as reports emerged from the White House indicated that President Donald Trump’s health was improving.
Pictures and videos purporting to show Trump working while at Walter Reed Medical Centre were released over the weekend with Dr Brian Garibaldi, a pulmonary specialist on the president’s medical team, commenting: “If he continues to look and feel as good as he does today, our hope is we can plan for a discharge as early as tomorrow to the White House where he can continue his treatment course.”
Global stocks saw a modest improvement on Monday following the news, with European markets in the green and US futures opening higher.
The FTSE 100 opened up 1.2% in London, while Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris’s CAC 40 each gained 1% in early trading. S&P 500 futures rose by 0.6%, Dow futures by 0.7%, and Nasdaq futures by 0.8%.
Asian and Australian stocks also rallied overnight, with major indexes opening higher. Japan’s Nikkei rose by 1.2%, the South Korean KOSPI by 1.3%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng by 1.5% and the Australian ASX 200 by 2.6%.
The US stock market has just come out of its worst monthly performance since March this year, with investors fearing that President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis could distress stocks yet further. Reports that the president began steroid treatment for low oxygen levels over the weekend have also left markets cautious.
“There is no doubt that the primary focus among investors and traders is going to remain on Donald Trump’s health this week,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade. “Any news about the improvement of his health is likely to bring relief to markets.”