Global Stocks Extend Retreat as Trump Rally Ends


World stock markets fell further Friday following a downbeat session in Asia, and after Wall Street's Trump-fuelled 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-fuelled surge came to an end.

"European markets have struggled to gain traction this morning following on from last night's weaker performance from US 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 around the world are sharply higher since the US president pledged last week a "phenomenal" tax reform package soon, raising hopes he would press on with plans to fire up the US 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 US and hints at a March interest rate hike.

"With no major data out of the US 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," added Hewson.

"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 a lot of uncertainty, particularly with Trump's first weeks in office engulfed in controversies, most recently over his relationship with Russia, dealers said.

"The current political landscape is unlikely to change soon, nor will the debates surrounding tax, fiscal and Fed policies," said Oanda analyst Stephen Innes.

"As such we should expect the markets to come under renewed pressure and to be severely tested in the weeks to come."

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.

The dollar was also struggling to break out against its major peers despite Yellen's comments this week to Congress that the economy continued to improve and left open the chance of a March rate hike.

 - 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/dollar: UP at $1.0641 from $1.0675

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2396 from $1.2489

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.79 yen from 113.27 yen

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 14 cents at $55.51 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 18 cents at $53.18 

Comments 1
Thumb chrisrushlau over 1 year

Don't worry, Lebanon: democracy is coming.