Saturday, 22 September, 2018

U.S. stocks join global selloff on trade war fears

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Stocks Drop in Another Dizzying Day for Markets
Cristina Norman | 05 March, 2018, 01:29

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX -19.85) added 1.3 points, or 6.8%, bringing its monthly advance to 46.6% - its best month since August 2015.

About 9.0 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges. AK Steel jumped 10 percent.

The fall was largely driven by new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's unexpectedly hawkish tone on Tuesday where he presented an upbeat picture of the United States economy, opening up the option for more than three rate rises this year as inflation moves "up to target". It is down 3.9 percent for February but still up 1.5 percent in 2018. CNBC reported that Trump will make an announcement on tariffs at 11am ET (1600 GMT).

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is likely headed for three rate hikes in 2018, but investors are anxious that policymakers may be more aggressive. That's more than the market capitalisations of CBS and Viacom combined.

On Thursday, though, he said that "I would expect that some continued strengthening in the labour market can take place without causing inflation".

"If tariffs go up, it will, at the margin, tend to put more upward pressure on prices, and those upward pressure on prices will have to be considered by the monetary authority", New York Fed President William Dudley said in a speech in Brazil on Thursday.

The yield on the key 10 year bond fell to 2.86% on Wednesday and to around 2.802% on Thursday - a sign that investors are selling out of shares and commodities and heading for the safest haven of all - US Treasuries.

Dental supplies maker Patterson Companies plunged 22 percent after reporting weak earnings for the latest quarter. Crude oil was again decidedly negative in the session.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 50 cents to $61.14 per barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 94 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $63.79 a barrel. The yearly increase in the PCE was flat at 1.7% for the third month in a row, below the Fed's 2% target.

In the currency markets, the U.S. dollar was buoyed by Powell's comments, rising 0.3% on Wednesday to reach its second-best month of President Donald Trump's term, climbing 1.7% against a basket of currencies overall for the month. Brent crude, the global standard, fell 1 cent to $64.72 per barrel. The euro inched up to $1.2205 from $1.2203, and the British pound slipped to $1.3732 from $1.3771. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.2%.

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