Monday, 25 September, 2017

S&P, Dow Set for Worst Day in 8 Months on Trump Turmoil

Jeannie Matthews | 18 May, 2017, 01:16

USA manufacturing production recorded its biggest increase in more than three years in April but housing starts posted a surprise fall to five-month lows.

USA stock market declines accelerated in afternoon trading, and major US indexes ended near session lows. The S&P 500 bank sub-sector was down 4.5 percent while the broader financial sector sank 3.4 percent, led by a 6.2 percent decline in Bank of America stocks and a 4 percent drop for JPMorgan.

USA share futures and the dollar tumbled in Asian trade on Wednesday after reports President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into Trump's former national security advisor.

The U.S. dollar index touched its lowest level since early November on Tuesday, hurt by weaker-than-expected U.S. housing data and as political turmoil in Washington raised anew concerns about the outlook for passing expected legislation. Stocks remain at or near record highs, supported by the strongest earnings season for S&P 500 components since 2011.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.19 points, or 0.01 percent, to 20,979.75, the S&P 500 lost 1.65 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,400.67 and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.20 points, or 0.33 percent, to 6,169.87.

In April, the yen had firmed to the low 108 yen-range against the dollar, but temporarily softened on speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates, expanding the Japan-U.S. rate differential.

"The only political calibration the Fed has is how much Trumponomics we were going to get that they can't see yet", Neil Dwane, global strategist at Allianz Global Investors, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Melissa McCarthy Perfectly Trolls Sean Spicer For Hiding In Bushes
Of course, when it's suggested that "Sanders" run the press briefings instead of Spicer from now on, "Spicer" can't take it . Then they kissed and made up, literally, with Trump and Spicer locked in a tight embrace.

About 8.37 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges in the busiest trading day since March 21, compared with the 6.9 billion-share average for the last 20 sessions. Even so, US policymakers "are in the mindset to raise as long as the markets are prepared for it", he said.

Oil prices were little changed as traders awaited weekly USA inventory data and after Kuwait joined top producers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation in support of prolonging supply cuts through March 2018 to reduce a global crude glut. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1 percent, after ending little changed in the previous session.

Expectations of a rate increase in June fell to 74 percent compared to 84 percent last week, according to the CME Fedwatch. Barrick rose 2.2 per cent to $23.53, while Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd was up 2.1 per cent at $68.17. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 0.6 percent from a record, with banks having the biggest impact across all regions. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.1 percent lower at 7,519 and near all-time highs.

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield dipped to 2.303 percent, flirting with its lowest level in two weeks.

USA crude fell 0.49 percent to $48.61 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.62, down 0.39 percent on the day.

Spot gold added 0.5 percent to $1,236.91 an ounce. USA gold futures gained 0.56 percent to $1,236.90 an ounce. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.2 percent to 25,293.63.

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