Monday, 25 March, 2019

Wall St caps Trump-induced stocks selloff; dollar ticks up

Markets Right Now Washington turmoil unnerves markets Wall St caps Trump-induced stocks selloff; dollar ticks up
Laurie Berry | 19 May, 2017, 15:26

Trump's absence would still leave the market-friendly Grand Old Party dominant in D.C., at least for another two years - until midterm elections - and under that regime Trump's pro-business agenda, under the guidance of Mike Pence or another Republican, could come to full bloom.

Enough may finally be enough for Wall Street following reports that President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James B. Comey to hit the brakes on an investigation into former national security advisor Gen. Michael T. Flynn and his alleged connections to Russian Federation and Turkey.

The Justice Department on Wednesday named former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election and possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Tokyo plunged 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong shed 0.5 percent in the afternoon, Sydney shed 0.8 percent, Seoul was 0.3 percent off and Singapore also gave up 0.3 percent.

In 1.13pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.3 per cent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.7 per cent.

The US dollar index against a basket of major currencies was down 0.1 per cent at 97.498, not far from a six-month trough of 99.333 reached the previous day.

Although Mr Trump's surprise election victory had initially sparked buying in the dollar and USA assets on hopes for his tax cuts and infrastructure spending plans, such "Trump trades" has been wound back. United States stocks also remain in bullish territory despite the biggest upset to hit the equities market this year.

"The readings on jobless claims and the Philly Fed index back expectations for faster (second quarter) growth and a Fed rate hike next month".

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dies aged 52
Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died Wednesday night, his representative told CNN . He reunited with Soundgarden in 2010 and they released a sixth studio album, King Animal , two years later.

"While there is no particular headline behind the move, a likely combination of slipping US yields, softer oil prices and heightened political uncertainty in Washington are providing traders with this morning's toxic dollar elixir". Such a scenario could be enough to push dollar/yen back towards the 100 level.

The dollar has been hard hit by fears that the US political system could become engulfed by crisis, preventing lawmakers from pushing through tax or spending reforms. Sovereign bonds also rallied, pushing down yields. The People's Bank of China pumped a net 170 billion yuan ($24.7 billion) into the financial system via its daily money-market operation, the largest amount since just before the Lunar New Year holiday in January.

U.S. Treasury yields fell, with benchmark 10-year notes up 23/32 in price to yield 2.25 percent, the lowest level since April. However, this is still above the April low of 2.165% when geopolitical concerns over the French election and North Korea had spooked the markets.

"The market's key focus right now is the political uncertainty linked to the Trump allegations, not economic fundamentals", said Toshihiko Sakai, a senior dealer at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking.

While the Dollar remains under pressure for now, we can expect some support for the greenback, though risk appetite will be on the back burner with European equities in the red at the time of the report, in response to the overnight slide in the Dow.

Democrats say reports Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn amount to obstruction of justice, if true.

"Impeaching Donald Trump was a pipe dream for the Democrats but extremely unlikely to most other observers until a few days ago", he added.


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