Stocks Slide, Dollar Gains as Taxes Take Focus: Markets Wrap

Updated on
  • ‘Tax reform is the number one thing on everybody’s minds’
  • Gulf shares slump, oil retreats as Saudi turmoil continues
Hermes' Murray Sees Danger of Complacency in Markets

Stocks fell while the dollar strengthened and Treasuries nudged higher as investors turned their attention to fiscal policy, with tax writers from the House of Representatives expected to hammer out their plan this week.

The S&P 500 Index drifted lower, led by financial companies, which were the worst performing group in the gauge. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped, erasing an earlier advance, but remained close to an all-time high. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed to a level last seen more than 25 years ago.

“Tax reform is the number one thing on everybody’s minds right now,” said Michael Hanson, the chief U.S. macro strategist at TD Securities in New York. “The Senate has indicated they’re going to announce their own bill Thursday, and that bill is extensively based off of the House bill, but there’s likely to be some important differences.”

Bloomberg’s Laura Davison reports on the progress of the Republican tax plan through the House.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Equity indexes across the Persian Gulf were among the world’s worst performers amid a widening a crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s Tadawul All Share Index at one point fell the most in a year before regaining some of its losses. Oil slid from Monday’s climb, when it reached the highest price since June 2015.

“The current news backdrop argues against any correction in the near future: the latest developments in Saudi Arabia justify a risk premium on the oil price,” commodity researchers at Commerzbank AG wrote in a note Tuesday. “President Trump has expressly approved the clean sweep, which is likely to encourage the king and crown prince in their plans to build on their power and to take action against Iran.”

Investors’ focus on geopolitics sharpened further as President Donald Trump continued his tour of Asia. Speaking next to South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul, Trump said he saw some progress on North Korea and called on the rogue state to “come to the table” and make a deal on its missile and nuclear program. He added that the U.S. and South Korea will act together to confront North Korea’s actions, and the U.S. stands ready to use its full range of military capabilities “if need be.”

Elsewhere, industrial metals pared some of yesterdays gains and gold declined.

Terminal users can read more in our Markets Live blog.

Here are key events to watch out for this week:

  • U.S. consumer sentiment probably cooled in early November from a more than 13-year high; the University of Michigan’s report is out on Friday.
  • OPEC releases its World Oil Outlook.
  • Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand also have monetary-policy decisions this week.
  • The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis resume talks.
  • Earnings season continues with announcements from Walt Disney Co., Adidas AG, and Siemens AG. European financial companies set to report include Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, Credit Agricole SA, Allianz SE and Zurich Insurance Group AG.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 slid less than 0.1 percent to 2,590.64.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5 percent.
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 1.7 percent to the highest since January 1992.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.9 percent to the highest in about 10 years.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index jumped 0.3 percent to the highest in more than six years.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.3 percent.
  • The euro decreased 0.2 percent to $1.159, the weakest since July.
  • The British pound declined less than 0.1 percent to $1.3168.
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.2 percent to 113.94 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid less than one basis point to 2.3109 percent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.327 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield decreased three basis points to 1.231 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.2 percent to $57.23 a barrel.
  • Gold declined 0.4 percent to $1,276.53 an ounce.
  • Copper fell 2.1 percent to $3.09 a pound, the lowest in a month.
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