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Global stock indexes cooled off on US tax reform doubts

MSCI's global stock index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, declined 0.2%, slipping further from a record level

Reuters  |  New York 

Wall Street
A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York | Photo: Reuters

indexes cooled off on Friday as signs that reform could be delayed impeded the market's momentum.

MSCI's index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, declined 0.2 per cent, slipping further from a record level. On Thursday, the global index fell 0.4 per cent following 10 straight days of gains.

The MSCI world index has surged more than 20 per cent so far this year, and some investors believe a pullback is due.

"The pause that the market is currently in is directly related to what's going on from a tax standpoint," said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist for Northern Trust Corp.

Adding insult to injury, the pullback in stocks, as well as the softness in high-yield "junk" bonds, did little to support traditional safe havens.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes last fell 20/32 in price to yield 2.4002 per cent. The 30-year bond last fell 48/32 in price to yield 2.8813 percent.

Meanwhile, German government bond yields climbed to their highest in over a week as euro zone bonds were sold across the board for a second consecutive day. The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond, the benchmark for the bloc, hit 0.40 percent for the first time since Oct. 27.

Spot gold dropped 0.7 per cent to $1,275.69 an ounce.

It's not often that we get rates down and equities down: it's a classic hallmark of momentum strategies unwinding," said Citigroup Inc equity trading strategist Alex Altmann, referring to a trading strategy that favours buying recent winners and selling losers.

"We may not get that calm ride into the end of the year."

Friday, coal producer Canyon Consolidated Resources became the second junk-rated company to pull a bond sale this week amid a bout of volatility in credit

TAX OVERHAUL

US Republican senators said they wanted to slash the corporate tax rate in 2019, later than the House's proposed schedule of 2018, complicating a push for the biggest overhaul of U.S. tax law since the 1980s.

The House was set to vote on its measure next week. But the Senate's timetable was less clear.

"I would say a compromise will be reached," said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

"But if they indeed decide to delay the tax cut by a year, there is likely to be some disappointment."

Wall Street retreated on concern over delays in corporate tax cuts, though a rise in media and semiconductor stocks limited the slide.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 35.95 points, or 0.15 percent, to 23,425.99, the S&P 500 lost 2.35 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,582.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.38 points, or 0.04 percent, to 6,752.43.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index suffered its worst week in three months, down 0.4 percent on Friday and falling for a fourth day in row. [.EU]

"There's a feeling out there that there's a long-awaited correction, and no one wants to be caught by surprise," Emmanuel Cau, global equity strategist at JP Morgan, said.

Crude was down as expectations the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers will extend their production cut agreement were offset by U.S. drillers adding the most oil rigs in a week since June, indicating output will continue to grow. [O/R]

U.S. crude fell 0.37 per cent to $56.96 per barrel and Brent was last at $63.77, down 0.25 per cent.

Bitcoin dropped below $7,000 on Friday to trade more than $1,000 down from an all-time high hit on Wednesday, as some traders dumped it for a clone called Bitcoin Cash, sending its value up around a third.

First Published: Sat, November 11 2017. 01:12 IST
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