Global stocks extend retreat as Trump-based rally ends
AFP February 18, 2017, 12:04 am TWN
LONDON -- World stock markets fell further Friday following a downbeat session in Asia, and after Wall Street's Trump-fueled surge finally came to an end.
European equities staggered lower with London sentiment also dented by news of a fresh drop in retail sales.
Asian indices mostly dipped as investors cashed out after a healthy run since last week, and after Wall Street's Donald Trump-fueled surge came to an end.
"European markets have struggled to gain traction this morning following on from last night's weaker performance from U.S. equities," noted CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
New York had finished mixed Thursday as a five-day streak of record highs finally began to show signs of fatigue. Stocks worldwide are sharply higher since Trump pledged last week a "phenomenal" tax reform package soon, raising hopes he would press on with plans to fire up the U.S. economy.
The remarks were the spark for all three main Wall Street indices to hit record highs for five successive days, with help also coming from Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen's upbeat assessment of the outlook for the U.S. and hints at a March interest rate hike.
"With no major data out of the U.S. ahead of the long bank holiday President's Day weekend and no big earnings reports, the week will be finishing with investors weighing up the likelihood of another Trump Twitter rampage or press conference," Hewson added. "Whilst these create great headlines for the media it does little to improve stability in the markets, and many will be wondering whether the honeymoon period is over already."
There remained much uncertainty, particularly with Trump's first weeks in office engulfed in controversy, most recently over his relationship with Russia.
Hong Kong stocks — which this week hit highs not seen since summer 2015 — fell 0.3 percent while Shanghai shed 0.9 percent by the close. Sydney eased 0.2 percent and Seoul dropped 0.1 percent, while Tokyo lost 0.6 percent.
Key Figures Around 1100 GMT
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,272.81 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 11,700.04
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 1.0 percent at 4,850.34
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.8 percent at 3,284.11
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 19,234.62 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 24,033.74 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.9 percent at 3,201.97 (close)
New York - Dow: UP less than 0.1 percent at 20,619.77 (close)
Euro/U.S. dollar: UP at US$1.0641 from US$1.0675
Pound/U.S. dollar: DOWN at US$1.2396 from US$1.2489
U.S. Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.79 yen from 113.27 yen
Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 14 cents at US$55.51 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 18 cents at US$53.18
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