World stocks rally runs out of steam
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World stocks rally runs out of steam

Updated: 10:15 20-03-2017

by Roland JACKSON

World stocks struggled Friday as a global rally ran out of steam on profit taking, and amid jitters over US President Donald Trump's budget proposals.

London and Paris stocks eked out slender gains while Frankfurt nudged into negative territory.

The region's markets had bolted higher Thursday with London's FTSE striking a new record peak after the Federal Reserve painted a positive picture of the world's largest economy. Sentiment was buoyed also by the victory of the incumbent party in Dutch elections.

"The FTSE appears to be treading water as profit-taking hits ahead of the weekend," noted analyst Joshua Mahony at trading firm IG.

"Yesterday's record close for the FTSE highlights that it has been a particularly positive week for UK stocks, which enjoyed a substantial boost in the wake of the Dutch election and (Fed) meeting."

Asian equities also wobbled Friday with investors concerned about a lack of detail on Trump's tax reforms and spending promises in his first budget.

The underwhelming performance came a day after the Fed's rate hike and signal of a slower pace of future rises sparked a surge across equities and sent the dollar tumbling.

The greenback struggled to recover from that sell-off, with the pound and euro holding onto their gains, while a stronger yen further dented Japanese exporters, in turn dragging Tokyo stocks downwards.

This weekend, meanwhile, traders will eye a G20 finance ministers' meeting in Germany as worries grow over Trump's isolationist slant, while the US president is due to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later Friday.

Wall Street fell overnight on disappointment with Trump's controversial budget proposal, which was filled with big defence spending and cuts to education and environmental projects.

However, it lacked any detail on his pledge to slash taxes and ramp up infrastructure spending, with analysts saying there is a fear that ongoing acrimony on his health policy could mean the growth-firing measures will not come as soon as hoped.

- 'No meat on bones' -

"There is little doubt that Trump continues to tick off his list of promises," Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note. "But it's becoming clear that the stimulus part of Trumponomics might be delayed behind other imperatives."

"Traders are likely to be disappointed that they still haven't seen the meat on the bones of the tax proposals and infrastructure spending plans in this skinny budget,"  McKenna said.

"It helps explain why yesterday’s Fed sugar hit hasn't continued today."

- Key figures around 1115 GMT - 

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,433.75 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 12,077.13

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 5,027.73

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,446.53

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 19,521.59 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.1 percent at 24,309.93 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 1.0 percent at 3,237.45 (close)

New York – Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 20,934.55 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0769 from $1.0770

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2390 from $1.2357

Dollar/yen: UNCHANGED at 113.26 yen

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 23 cents at $48.98 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 17 cents at $51.91 per barrel

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Source: AFP Published: 12:45 17-03-2017

Posted by on March 17, 2017.

Categories: Business

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