Consumer price inflation in line with expectations
US stocks extended losses led by technology and financial shares. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% to 2765.31. Dow Jonesindustrial average dropped 0.7% to 25007.03. The Nasdaq composite index lost 1% to 7511.01 snapping seven-session winning streak. The dollar weakening accelerated even as inflation data were in line with expectations: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, fell 0.3% to 89.675. Stock indices futures point to higher openings today.
Stock market’s reaction to Trump’s firing of Tillerson was muted. Continued weakening of dollar as the consumer price index rose 0.2% in February after 0.5% increase in January was seen as a signal the economy is not overheating and therefore not strengthening the case for increasing the pace of interest rate hikes by the Fed to four hikes from currently expected three. The headline inflation rose to 2.2% from 2.1% in January. Treasury yields slipped, as did the dollar index. The Federal Reserve is still expected to raise the rates at the coming meeting next week.
DAX leads European indices fall
European stocks erased previous session gains on Tuesday as euro strengthening accelerated after US report showed no surprise bump in inflation. The British Pound extended gains against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1%. The German DAX 30 dropped 1.6% to 12221.03. France’s CAC 40 fell 0.6% and UK’s FTSE 100 lost 1.1% to 7138.78. Indices opened 0.1% – 0.2% lower today.
Pound also accelerated its strengthening against the dollar after the Office for Budget Responsibility raised its 2018 forecast for UK economic growth to 1.5% from 1.4%.
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Asian markets fall
Asian stock indices are lower today on rising trade war concerns spiked by report Trump considers tariffs on up to $60 billion Chinese goods. Nikkei lost 0.9% to 21781 with yen little changed against the dollar. Chinese stocks are falling after better than expected industrial production and fixed asset investment data raised concerns Bank of China may hike its key seven-day policy rate this year : the Shanghai Composite Index is down 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Indexis 1.3% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index is down 0.7% weighed again by weakness in commodity related stocks and stronger Australian dollar against the greenback.
Brent slides on rising US stocks
Brent futures prices are retreating today on rising US inventories expectations. Prices fell yesterday erasing earlier gains spurred by concerns about Iran nuclear deal after President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday report indicated US crude inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels to 428 million last week. May Brent lost 0.5% to $64.64 a barrel Tuesday. Today at 16:30 CET the Energy Information Administration will release US Crude Oil Inventories.
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