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Global Markets: Euro weakens on cautious ECB; stocks edge up as tariff plan looms

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dropped on Thursday as the signalled caution on inflation and protectionism, while a gauge of global stocks edged higher as investors awaited more clarity on U.S. Donald Trump's plan to impose import tariffs.

While the ECB took a small step toward weaning the zone off protracted stimulus by dropping its easing bias, ECB said monetary policy would remain "reactive" and that underlying inflation was subdued.

The was down 0.81 percent to $1.2311, while the dollar index <.DXY> rose 0.58 percent.

"They toned down the easing bias but there is still a willingness to ease and the tone of Draghi's comments was still dovish, stressing that there is still not a convincing uptrend in inflation," said Chris Scicluna,

Draghi also addressed the U.S. plans, saying: "If you put tariffs against (those) who are your allies, one wonders who the enemies are."

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.11 percent as the pan-European index <.FTEU3> rose 1.02 percent.

Wall Street indexes were little changed ahead of announcement about the tariffs. Earlier, Trump said he was willing to strike a deal that could exempt and from the tariffs.

"As has been in the past, what Trump says and what finally actually materializes are two different things," said Randy Frederick, vice of trading and derivatives for in Austin,

"It might be just wise to sit on the sidelines before we get some more clarity."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 75.2 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,726.16, the <.SPX> lost 2.68 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,724.12 and the <.IXIC> dropped 1.99 points, or 0.03 percent, to 7,394.66.

Markets have been roiled over the past week by Trump's plans to impose a 25 percent on and 10 percent on aluminum that have sparked fears of a global trade war.

"It's a environment where people aren't really sure what is going to happen," said Willie Delwiche, at Baird in

"That's the big thing that's different this year versus last year: you're seeing more of this volatility as people try to sort out some new regimes that are out there," Delwiche said.

The U.S. was rattled as said it would buy for about $54 billion. Express Scripts shares jumped 8.6 percent while Cigna dropped 10.9 percent.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.8607 percent, from 2.883 percent late on Wednesday.

fell and were setting up for a second consecutive weekly drop as the dollar strengthened and concerns over rising U.S. crude production continued to mount on signs of an inventory build at a key U.S. storage hub.

U.S. crude fell 1.73 percent to $60.09 per barrel and Brent was at $63.50, down 1.31 percent.

Spot gold dropped 0.3 percent to $1,321.56 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by in Bengaluru, Dhara Ranasinghe, Tommy Wilkes and Marc Jones in London; Editing by and Lisa Shumaker)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 01:06 IST