Wednesday 20 September 2017

Stocks, US dollar drops amid uncertainty

Traders gather at the post where Snap Inc. is traded, just before the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders gather at the post where Snap Inc. is traded, just before the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

US and European stocks fell yesterday, along with the US dollar, while US Treasury yields reversed earlier declines, as political uncertainty in the United States sent investors in search of safer investments like gold and the Japanese yen.

The dollar fell to a session low against the yen and gold gained in US morning training.

Investors were concerned about developments relating to the firing of FBI director James Comey late on Tuesday by US President Donald Trump.

White House officials told Reuters that Mr Trump's decision had been building for months, but a turning point came when Mr Comey refused to preview for top Trump officials his planned testimony to a Senate panel, a decision considered an act of subordination by Trump and his aides.

"The market has continued to get a little bit ahead of itself and it's just looking for any sort of a reason to have a pullback," said Catherine Avery, president of Catherine Avery Investment Management in New Canaan, Connecticut.

"Part of it is worry the distraction that we've had with Comey is going to take people's eyes off the tax reform and healthcare reform."

Meanwhile, the Iseq index of Irish shares closed down a quarter of a percent at 7096.56.

Elsewhere, the US benchmark S&P 500 stock index was on track for its largest one-day percentage fall in four weeks. A disappointing profit report by Macy's and ensuing 13pc slump in its shares took a toll on the US consumer discretionary sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 86.16 points, or 0.41pc, to 20,856.95, the S&P 500 lost 11.82 points, or 0.49pc, to 2,387.81 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 32.95 points, or 0.54pc, to 6,096.19.

Irish Independent

Also in Business