Health­care shares push mar­kets lower

Malta Independent - - FINANCIAL -

On Thurs­day, Euro­pean stocks headed for their low­est close since the end of 2016 and drug­mak­ers across the globe sold off. Turkey’s lira climbed for the first time in six days and emerg­ing­mar­ket cur­ren­cies ral­lied the most in 10 months. Gold touched a seven-week high and in­dus­trial met­als ral­lied.

The Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex lost 0.5% and the FTSE 100 fell 0.2%, halt­ing a record streak of gains. Health­care shares headed for their big­gest drop since Novem­ber, deep­en­ing losses that be­gan late on Wed­nes­day. Fu­tures on the S&P 500 In­dex fell 0.3%. The un­der­ly­ing gauge in­creased 0.3% on Wed­nes­day, stag­ing an af­ter­noon rally and re­coup­ing losses of as much as 0.4%.

US Pres­i­dent-elect Trump’s press con­fer­ence left in­vestors with few specifics on the tim­ing and scope of planned poli­cies from in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing to trade pacts. Since his vic­tory, the dol­lar and global eq­ui­ties have ral­lied, while bonds sold off, on bets in­fla­tion would pick up with growth. Health­care stocks were pres­sured on Thurs­day as Trump said he’d force the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try to bid for govern­ment busi­ness in the world’s largest drug mar­ket.

The dol­lar slid and Trea­suries gained with com­modi­ties as Don­ald Trump’s press con­fer­ence sent a wake-up call to the mar­ket about ex­alted ex­pec­ta­tions for fis­cal stim­u­lus in the US. Gold ad­vanced. The US cur­rency slumped against all ma­jor peers and the 10-year Trea­sury yield touched the low­est since Novem­ber as Trump’s first press con­fer­ence since his elec­tion vic­tory gave scant de­tail on pol­icy.

Gold rose above $1,200 an ounce for the first time since Novem­ber as the dol­lar sagged. Cop­per added 1.2% to $5,779 a met­ric ton, the high­est in a month af­ter In­done­sia con­firmed a halt to con­cen­trate ex­ports. Zinc rose 1.4%. West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate crude climbed 1.2% to $52.87 a bar­rel, ex­tend­ing its big­gest rally in al­most six weeks af­ter govern­ment data pub­lished on Wed­nes­day showed US re­fin­ers pro­cessed a record amount of crude.

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