United States stock futures, dollar fall on rising concerns over Trump

18 May, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Asia drops as White House turmoil hits risk sentiment, dollar bruised

"This more detailed release will show how much of the change was due to Easter timing effects (the price of those items affected by the timing of Easter are also included in the ECB's core inflation measure) or whether some pick-up in broader underlying inflation might be emerging", RBC Capital Markets' head of FX strategy Elsa Lignos wrote in a note. That would mark its lowest closing value since November 4, just days before President Donald Trump's election sent the USA currency surging in a strategy.

Fixated on developments in the world's largest economy, Asian investors sent equities from Japan to Australia lower, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropping 0.3 percent as energy producers and banks lead losses.

The turmoil engulfing President Donald Trump's administration spilled into financial markets as US stocks fell the most since March, measures of volatility spiked higher and Treasuries rallied with gold. The euro was up 0.2 percent against the dollar at $1.11, the first time it's breached that level since November, when Trump surprisingly won the USA election. Last week, Trump fired Comey, creating a firestorm inside and outside of Washington and casting doubt on his ability to pass legislation in Congress. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average [YMM7] were off 124 points, or 0.6%, while the S&P 500 futures are down 15 points, or 0.6^%.

On equities markets Tokyo ended down 0.5 percent as the stronger yen hit exporters, while Hong Kong gave up 0.2 percent by the finish and Shanghai closed 0.3 percent lower.

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

The market is getting nervous. Coherus shares rose almost 7 percent to $23.55.

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Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors fell with the only gain from utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR , defensive sectors with predictable if slow growth and high dividends.

Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday ahead of USA crude inventory data that could give investors a clue as to whether an OPEC-led output cut is making progress in reducing a persistent global supply overhang.

Analysts said the controversy around Trump has raised fears that he might not last a whole term and that, even if he did, there were too many distractions for him to be able to successfully push through his economic stimulus programme. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1 percent, after ending little changed in the previous session. The Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.2 percent lower to 3,104.44.

Expectations of a rate increase in June fell to 74 percent compared to 84 percent last week, according to the CME Fedwatch.

The euro held firm at $1.1086, having hit a six-month high of $1.10975 on Tuesday, as it also drew support from solid economic data in the euro zone. Gold climbed by US$12.60 to US$1,249 an ounce, while the Japanese yen gained against the dollar. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 are down 35 points or 0.6%.

US crude fell 0.49 percent to $48.61 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.62, down 0.39 percent on the day. The Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.5% from Tuesday to 19,814.

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