Dollar tumbles, bonds win as Trump trade fizzles
LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar nursed widespread losses on Thursday after President-elect Donald Trump's long-awaited news briefing provided little clarity on future fiscal policies, disappointing bulls who had bet on major stimulus.
Trump did not mention possible tariffs against Chinese exports, however - a relief for Asian share markets that have feared the outbreak of a global trade war.
The lack of detail about a potential stimulus also put safety plays such as bonds and gold back in favor, cooling bets that have built in recent months on significantly higher global inflation and series of U.S. interest rate hikes.
It was enough to send the dollar tumbling back below 114 yen for the first time in five weeks and brought some welcome relief to Brexit-bruised sterling and Turkey's lira, which has been badly beaten up this year. [EMRG/]
"The risk was always that a president like Trump would end up upsetting that consensus (of faster U.S. growth, stronger dollar) view by introducing more political uncertainty," said asset manager GAM's head of multi-asset portfolios Larry Hatheway.
European shares also fell, bucking gains in Asia and Wall Street overnight and weighed down by a 2 percent slump in healthcare stocks after Trump said pharmaceutical firms had been "getting away with murder" with their prices. [.EU]
They weren't being helped either by a deck of stronger currencies.
The euro was back at $1.0650 for the first time in a month, shaky sterling climbed above $1.22 and Sweden's crown hit a four-month high and cracked its 200-day moving average against the euro after pacy inflation data.
It was also bliss for bond markets that have been in reverse since Trump's election fuel led bets on higher U.S. interest rates that tend to set the bar for global borrowing costs.
Euro zone bond yields fell 2 to 6 bps as German Bunds rallied and as U.S. 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest level in more than a month at around 2.30 percent.
"Overall, investors are wary ahead of Trump's inauguration – a case of buy the talk (Trumpflation), but sell the news," analysts at Societe Generale said in a note.
GOOD AS GOLD
Wall Street had overcome its brief wobble to end Wednesday firmer, though the Dow Jones still didn't manage to break the 20,000 points barrier and looked set to start around 0.2 percent lower later, according to futures prices.
Tuesday's first Trump news conference since the Nov. 8 election contained no details on tax cuts or infrastructure spending, anticipation of which had fueled the five-week rally in stocks and a selloff in global bond markets.
"The news conference was a far cry from the market friendly, pro-growth "presidential" comments that Trump delivered at his acceptance speech," wrote analysts at Westpac, adding it left a "veritable laundry list" of questions unanswered.
In commodity markets, oil was a shade firmer in Europe after a minor dip in Asian trading. [O/R] U.S. crude was trading at $52.33 and Brent crude was up 30 cents at $55.40 a barrel follow gains of nearly 3 percent on Wednesday.
The weaker dollar also helped metals markets. Gold rose to a seven-week high just shy of $1,200 per ounce while London copper traded up almost 2 percent after electronic trading there was delayed by a mystery five-hour outage. [MET/]
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(Editing by Catherine Evans)
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