Healthcare shares push markets lower
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.