SINGAPORE — Oil prices dropped and the safe-haven yen strengthened in the afternoon of Asian trading hours on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Japanese yen — often seen as a safe-haven currency — strengthened following Trump's announcement, last changing hands at 105.17 per dollar after an earlier low of 105.66 against the greenback.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.733 after touching an earlier high of 94.031.
The Australian dollar slipped to $0.716, following an earlier high of $0.7189.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.39% to close at 5,791.50. Australia's retail sales data for August fell 4% on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data from the country's Bureau of Statistics. That followed a rise of 3.2% in July.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.67% on the day to 23,029.90 while the Topix index slipped 1% to close at 1,609.22. The Tokyo Stock Exchange returned to trade on Friday following a halting of trade yesterday caused by a hardware glitch.
Singapore's Straits Times index was about 0.2% lower, as of around 3:19 p.m. HK/SIN.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index dipped 0.23%.
Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and India were closed on Friday for holidays.