Stocks, bond yields drop Washington turmoil rattles markets

19 May, 2017, 11:32 | Author: Leticia Walters
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Markets overseas were also mostly lower.

Investors fled risk assets, on the back of concerns that rising US political turmoil could cause a delay to President Trump's ability to deliver on his pro-growth economic agenda, which includes tax-reform and deregulation, widely seen as a boon for equities. The dollar also dropped 0.4 per cent. The S&P 500 Index remains 10 percent higher since then, but stocks most sensitive to Trump policy prescriptions have begun to wobble.

"At the moment everyone is focusing on the political relief in Europe and the political unrest in the U.S.", ING's senior rates strategist Martin van Vliet said. "Clearly at the margin it's a negative".

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has fallen for six straight days and is down nearly 5 percent this year. However, this does not mean that the political risks are put to bed, if this crisis continues to escalate then we would expect a further sharp reaction in the markets.

NOGUCHI: But, Kretzmann says, don't forget that stocks are still in a bull market. The U.S. currency now sits at its lowest level since the day of Trump's shock win, a retracement some blame on perceptions his legislative agenda faces deeper challenges.

Even here, though, traders have been divided on what is moving the USA currency, with some seeing catalysts beyond politics.

The foreign exchange and bond markets have reflected skepticism over Mr. Trump's ability to boost USA economic growth for some time. Even so, USA policymakers "are in the mindset to raise as long as the markets are prepared for it", he said.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 36 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,364 as of 3:04 p.m. The major USA stock indexes fell 1.8 percent or more, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 372 points.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 0.5 percent, a day after the equities benchmark came within 2 points of topping 20,000. The broader Russell 2000 index was down 1.65 per cent.

President Trump has not been leading the debate on tax reform; House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report Rattled investors overreact to Trump turmoil in market sell-off Dems: Trump budget is recipe for shutdown MORE (R-Wis.) has, and he is facing opposition in his own party.

US stocks, the dollar, and government bonds were down in Wednesday's trading amid investor worries about controversial actions and comments from President Donald Trump.

Worldwide stock exchanges showed similar sell-offs.

Where is the loonie heading?

With "Sell in May" seasonality in the air, Jeff Hirsch of the Stock Trader's Almanac notes that the S&P 500's last 10% correction ended on February 11, 2016 (when oil price bottomed on rumors of an OPEC oil production freeze), ending a 14.2% decline.

Investors piled into the United Kingdom currency after retail sales outstripped expectations, rising by 2.3% in April compared with the month before, due in part to the later timing of Easter holidays and warmer weather. Benchmark yields in France lost two basis points to 0.87 percent, while those in Germany declined two basis points to 0.42 percent. In other futures trading, natural gas fell 4 cents to $3.19 per 1,000 cubic feet. Every sector was down on the day. The euro strengthened to $1.1150 from $1.1095. A weak greenback makes the precious metal cheaper for non-U.S. investors.

The drug news that sent this biotech stock to the top of the Nasdaq. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, was up 55 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $52.20 per barrel in London.

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