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Stock futures, dollar fall on Trump concerns

18 Mai 2017

The economic calendar for the rest of the day is quite busy.

USA share futures and the dollar tumbled in Asian trade on Wednesday after reports President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into Trump's former national security advisor. Manuel Oliveri of Credit Agricole said that "On the back of increased uncertainty when it comes to Trump, global risk sentiment has turned a little more unstable", he also said that "But from a broader angle we are nowhere close to call the current markets risk-averse".

The euro fell 0.1 per cent to US$1.1145, after four straight days of gains.

GBP/USD is supported in the range of 1.2902 levels and now trading at 1.2967 levels. Australia's jobless rate unexpectedly dropped, returning to lows last seen in January.

Under pressure from Congress, the Justice Department late on Wednesday named former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election and possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Trump says he is being given one of the toughest rides of any president in US history.

USP/JPY was down 0.95% to 112.04 by 08.56 ET, the weakest level since May 3. It has made session high at 1.3640 and lows at 1.3569 levels.

USA stock futures were off 0.5 percent, though they were still close to record highs.

Data on Tuesday showed the eurozone growing at 1.7% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017. Losses for the loonie came even as prices of oil, one of Canada's major exports, climbed. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.4 percent at $49.03 per barrel.

This reversal was also evident in currency markets, with the euro climbing to its highest since November 7 - just before the US presidential election - against the dollar.

Those underlying worries have stopped sterling, up strongly last month, from breaking through $1.30.

Wednesday was a rude awakening for the markets with the Dollar and U.S Treasuries buckling at the knees as the markets continued to respond to the noise from Capitol Hill, with no macroeconomic data for the markets to be distracted by, the Dollar Spot Index falling by 0.54% on the day.

USD/JPY is supported around 110.57 levels and now trading at 110.94 levels.

The dollar fell to two-week lows against the traditional safe haven yen on Wednesday and fell to its lowest levels in seven weeks against the Swiss franc as a widening political crisis in the USA pressured the greenback lower.

Investors tracked the heaviest losses in NY since Trump was elected, following claims by recently fired Federal Bureau of Investigation boss James Comey that the president pressed him to drop a probe into ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn's links to Moscow.

Trump was not the only leader under scrutiny either.

"The more Trump gets bogged down in the impeachment debate and the issues surrounding that, it reduces the likelihood that you get anything meaningful in terms of fiscal stimulus - that's the key factor here", said Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa Capital Markets in London.

Treasurys, considered the safest place investors can park their money, and gold, which is a traditional "end of the world" trade, are also often bought up aggressively by investors in times of stress.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was down by 0.3 percent at 12,768 while the CAC 40 in France fell by 0.4 percent at 5,387. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 372.82 points, while the Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 2.6 per cent for its steepest drop since June 24.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 1/32 in price to yield 2.2173 percent, from 2.216 percent late on Wednesday.

Oil prices dropped after data showed an increase in USA crude inventories, stoking concerns that markets remain oversupplied despite efforts by top producers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation to extend output cuts.

Stock futures, dollar fall on Trump concerns