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Trump reports weigh on global stocks and the dollar

19 May 2017

Some traders said Wednesday's selling was sparked by reports that President Donald Trump had allegedly asked then-FBI Director James Comey to back off the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which prompted some congressional Republicans to call for further investigation.

The S&P 500 and the Dow notched their biggest one-day fall since September 9 as investor hopes for tax cuts and other pro-business policies faded after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump tried to interfere with a federal investigation set off alarm bells on Wall Street. S&P 500 futures slid 0.6 percent.

"In almost any time but the present, this is the type of escalating scandal that would jolt financial markets". "But what's potentially important for markets, in the weeks and months ahead, is that the president's apparent missteps may galvanize his opponents, which could make it harder to implement his economic agenda". "There has been a lot of focus on the USA president who admitted that he did share information with Russian Federation", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.

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. Earlier these were worries associated with the political situation in the European nation after the BREXIT and Canada planning to move out of the European nation and also issues in North Korea. Hong Kong's technology sector, for example, is the most expensive, trading at a price-to-earnings multiple of more than 42 times.

Overnight, the dollar slumped against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday, after reports surfaced that President Donald Trump shared sensitive information with Russian Federation at a meeting last week.

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Concerns grew after U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, responded to the news by asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to handover "all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings referring or relating to any communications" between Comey and Trump.

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, but such "Trump trades" have been wound back.

The franc, a traditional destination for capital in times of financial or political stress, hit a 10-day high against the euro and its strongest since Trump's election last November against the dollar.

The dollar index against a basket of major currencies was flat at 97.604, not far from a six-month trough of 99.333 reached the previous day.

The Swiss franc hit a six-month high of 0.9774 to the dollar on Wednesday before easing back to 0.9789.

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In parallel, Japan's Ministry of Economics reported that industrial production fell by 1.9% month-on-month in March. It also slipped as much as 0.3% against the euro.

Yet, US political turmoil and softer-than-expected US economic data in the past week, such as retail sales, consumer inflation and housing starts, is leading market players to discount the chance of more rate hikes. Goldman Sachs fell more than 5% and JP Morgan Chase fell 3.8%.

"Until Friday, markets had been focusing only on the bright side of the US economy".

"The controversy is not new, but this one really seems to be sticking", said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.

The yield on 10-year treasury notes fell 4.5 percent to 2.221.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.1 per cent at the close , while the Euro Stoxx 50 Index lost less than 0.5 per cent. He spoke with "the French president-elect to congratulate him on his victory", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said .

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.72 percent to trade at $48.92 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures gained 0.53 percent to trade at $48.92 a barrel.

Trump reports weigh on global stocks and the dollar