Stocks retreat after election rally, Europe bond yields climb

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index DAX board in FrankfurtStocks in major world markets fell on Friday as investors booked profits in sectors that rallied in the wake of the U.S. Presidential election, while a global bond market rout continued on expectations of higher interest rates.

Since the election on Tuesday, investors have flooded into areas such as banking that are expected to benefit from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promises of tax cuts, higher defense and infrastructure spending, and bank deregulation. The expansionary policy is expected to lead to inflation.

The sectors that benefited, including banks, shed some gains on Friday, though the longer-term view is that they will continue to move higher. The S&P financial index .SPSY was down 0.8 percent on the session but up 10 percent for the week, on track for its best weekly performance since August 2009.

“We have seen such a powerful and broad move higher in U.S. equities over the last two-plus days that it is only normal that we would see a little bit of pause, particularly in the financials,” said Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, in New York.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 43.56 points, or 0.23 percent, to 18,764.32, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.79 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,155.69 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXICdropped 10.87 points, or 0.21 percent, to 5,197.93.

The specter of higher interest rates continued to drive bond yields higher, but with the U.S. Treasury market closed for Veterans’ Day, the bond selling centered on Europe.

Italy’s benchmark 10-year yield rose to its highest in 16 months ahead of a key ratings review on Friday from Standard & Poor’s. While a downgrade is not expected by analysts, the “stable” outlook could be affected by political risk and an ailing banking system.

The dollar continued to strengthen, up 0.2 percent against a basket of major currencies and 2 percent for the week. The greenback was on pace for its biggest weekly percentage gain in a year.

That strength in the dollar slammed emerging markets, as did concerns Trump may begin to enact protectionist measures once he takes office. The MSCI emerging markets index .MSCIEF dropped 3.3 percent and was on track for its worst week in six months.

“Conventional wisdom really sees the potential for a significant pullback in the emerging space because of the narrative around trade and what free trade really means,” said Kenny.

The weakness in emerging markets dented European stocks, with Europe’s index of leading 300 shares off 0.7 percent. MSCI’s all-country world index lost 0.9 percent but was on pace for its best week in seven.

The Mexican peso continued to weaken against the dollar, and was off more than 3 percent after touching a record low of 21.395.

Gold XAU= dropped 2.7 percent to $1,227.06 an ounce after touching a session low of $1,224.52, the weakest since June 3, and was down nearly 6 percent for the week.

Copper pulled back after a sharp rally this week on expectations of an infrastructure build from Trump’s policies. The metal was 1 percent lower at $5,545 a tonne but was still up more about 11 percent on the week, on pace for its best week in five years.

Source: Stocks retreat after election rally, Europe bond yields climb | Reuters


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