European Equities Retreat as Bank Shares Slump on Trump Remarks

European stocks declined for the third time this week as banks fell after U.S. President Donald Trump said the dollar was getting too strong, while retreating from his previous assertion that China was a currency manipulator.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.4 percent at the close, after advancing to a 16-month high in the previous session. All but four industry groups declined, with banks extending losses into a fifth day. A rally led by cyclical shares since Trump’s election has sputtered in recent sessions.

  • Donald Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. currency is getting so strong that it’s harmful to the economy, while other nations “are devaluing” their currencies. Higher bond yields boost bank profitability.
  • The dynamics of the French election have taken another turn, with many possible outcomes including a second round involving far-left and far-right candidates, JPMorgan strategist Marko Kolanovic wrote in a note Wednesday, calling it increasingly reminiscent of Brexit and the U.S. election. Both had outcomes contrary to the consensus expectation.
  • Unusually for this time of the year, analysts are upgrading their 2017 estimates for earnings around the world. Positive revisions are outnumbering negative ones, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

— With assistance by Elena Popina

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