Stum­bling stocks dent hopes of long­est win­ning run in 14 years


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Broad eq­uity mar­ket de­clines in Asia and Europe and a lower open on Wall Street threat­ened to spoil the long­est win­ning streak for MSCI’s global stock in­dex since 2003.

Ja­pan’s Nikkei in­dex saw a wild 2% swing after hit­ting its high­est since 1992, and Europe’s main in­dexes were firmly in the red as tech and com­mod­ity stocks tum­bled and as Brexit talks re­sumed amid low ex­pec­ta­tions in Brus­sels.

Ger­many’s 10-year bond yield edged up for the first time in more than a week, and the euro and pound were both higher, as the long-run­ning saga of US tax re­form weighed on the dol­lar.

In the US, tech­nol­ogy stocks dragged down in­dexes amid skep­ti­cism over a Repub­li­can tax over­haul plan.

In late-morn­ing trad­ing, the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age fell 77.61 points, or 0.33%, to 23,485.75, the S&P 500 lost 11.03 points, or 0.43%, to 2,583.35, and the Nasdaq Com­pos­ite dropped 52.50 points, or 0.77%, to 6,736.62.

“The stock mar­ket has run out of a lit­tle mo­men­tum,” So­ci­ete Gen­erale strate­gist Kit Juckes said. “We are wait­ing for some news from the Repub­li­cans on the [US] tax plans, there is a bond mar­ket that has stalled, and we’ve got rather soggy look­ing emerg­ing mar­kets... We prob­a­bly need to get US Trea­sury yields higher to get things go­ing again.”

MSCI’s all-coun­try eq­uity in­dex is clock­ing year-to-date gains of al­most 19%.

But as a mea­sure of rel­a­tive calm amid the cur­rent bull mar­ket and a re­flec­tion of the low-volatil­ity en­vi­ron­ment that has dom­i­nated all year, none of the most re­cent 10 daily gains has ex­ceeded half a per­cent, and more than half of them were less than 0.1%.

The dol­lar in­dex, which tracks the green­back ver­sus a bas­ket of six key cur­ren­cies, fell 0.202 point, or 0.21%, to 94.664.

A US Se­nate tax-cut bill, dif­fer­ing from one al­ready in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, was ex­pected to be un­veiled on Thurs­day, com­pli­cat­ing a Repub­li­can tax over­haul and in­creas­ing skep­ti­cism on Wall Street about the ef­fort.

“There’s very much a risk of dis­ap­point­ment,” said Steven Doo­ley, a cur­rency strate­gist for West­ern Union Busi­ness So­lu­tions in Mel­bourne. “The US dol­lar could go through a weak­en­ing phase on the back of uncer­tainty around that tax re­form.”

The euro was last up 0.29% to $1.1627, while Europe’s broad FTSEurofirst 300 in­dex dropped 1.06% to 1,535.4.

Oil prices stead­ied just be­low twoyear highs, sup­ported by sup­ply cuts by ma­jor ex­porters. But an­a­lysts said the mar­ket could be vul­ner­a­ble to a sell-off after sev­eral months of gains. US crude rose 0.74% to $57.23 per bar­rel, and Brent was last at $63.77, up 0.44% on the day.

Spot gold added 0.3% to $1,284.30 an ounce. US gold fu­tures gained 0.11% to $1,285.10 an ounce.

Cryp­tocur­rency bit­coin skid­ded about 3%, but not be­fore dip­ping al­most 5%. It had hit a record high just shy of $8,000 on Wed­nes­day after a coali­tion of de­vel­op­ers and in­vestors sus­pended a soft­ware up­grade planned for next Thurs­day that could have split the dig­i­tal cur­rency in two.

(Ints Kal­nins/Reuters)

WOMEN COM­MU­NI­CATE with the hu­manoid robot Pep­per dur­ing Riga Comm 2017, a busi­ness tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion fair in Riga, Latvia, yes­ter­day.

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