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BLBG: Dollar Falls as Fed Path Assessed; Stocks Retreat: Markets Wrap
 
Investors scrutinize results from Facebook to Deutsche Bank
Fed policy statement does little to alter views on rate hikes
The dollar slumped against most of its major peers after the Federal Reserve gave dollar bulls little to be optimistic about after the worst January in 30 years. Global equities slid as investors scrutinized mixed earnings from corporate heavyweights.

The U.S. currency dropped toward the lowest close since November after the Fed reiterated its intention on Wednesday to lift rates only gradually. The pound extended losses after the Bank of England left rates unchanged and said there’s more slack in the economy than previously thought. European stocks dropped with S&P 500 futures.

Dollar bulls had pinned their hopes on the Federal Reserve to provide a stronger signal about the pace of interest-rate increases this year after comments by the new Trump administration overshadowed data showing economic growth is picking up steam. Investors will now be keeping one eye on Friday’s jobs report and another on the narrative from the White House for signs of pro-growth policies.

“The dollar and other currencies are in a push-pull situation,” said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments Ltd. in Edinburgh. “On the one hand economic fundamentals imply the dollar should rise, but on the other hand there is political risk. If the political risk premium rises too much, then it’s contrary to what the fundamentals are actually saying.”

The dollar slumped against most of its major peers after the Federal Reserve gave dollar bulls little to be optimistic about after the worst January in 30 years. Global equities slid as investors scrutinized mixed earnings from corporate heavyweights.

The U.S. currency dropped toward the lowest close since November after the Fed reiterated its intention on Wednesday to lift rates only gradually. The pound extended losses after the Bank of England left rates unchanged and said there’s more slack in the economy than previously thought. European stocks dropped with S&P 500 futures.

Dollar bulls had pinned their hopes on the Federal Reserve to provide a stronger signal about the pace of interest-rate increases this year after comments by the new Trump administration overshadowed data showing economic growth is picking up steam. Investors will now be keeping one eye on Friday’s jobs report and another on the narrative from the White House for signs of pro-growth policies.

“The dollar and other currencies are in a push-pull situation,” said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments Ltd. in Edinburgh. “On the one hand economic fundamentals imply the dollar should rise, but on the other hand there is political risk. If the political risk premium rises too much, then it’s contrary to what the fundamentals are actually saying.”

Earnings are coming thick and fast, with mixed results clouding the picture on the state of the global economy. While Facebook Inc.’s sales topped forecasts, Sony Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. cut their profit outlooks. In Europe, Deutsche Bank AG and Royal Dutch Shell Plc missed estimates. Due later on Thursday are earnings from Amazon.com Inc.

Read our Markets Live blog here.

What’s coming up in the markets:

BoE Governor Mark Carney will hold a briefing at 12:30 p.m. London time after the central bank revealed that some policy makers have become more concerned about accelerating inflation.
Economists expect a 175,000 increase in U.S. nonfarm payrolls for January, in line with the recent trend, when the Labor Department releases jobs data on Friday. With both hiring and unemployment likely to remain relatively stable, the focus on the jobs report will center on wage pressures.
Here are the main market moves on Thursday:

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index lost 0.5 percent as of 7:13 a.m. in New York, extending its decline this year to 2.9 percent.
The euro added 0.4 percent to $1.0810 and the pound reversed earlier gains.
Stocks

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.2 percent at 10:39 a.m. in London as investors assessed disappointing corporate outlooks with health-care shares falling the most.
Deutsche Bank tumbled 5.4 percent after its quarterly trading revenue missed analysts’ estimates.
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc added 2.9 percent after saying it’s in advanced talks to acquire baby-food maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co.
Futures on the S&P 500 lost 0.3 percent, after the underlying gauge rose less than one point to close at 2,279.42 on Wednesday.
Commodities

Nickel led industrial metals higher, advancing 2.2 percent to $10,480 a metric ton after the Philippines announced mine closures and suspensions.
Gold rose 1 percent to $1,222.42 an ounce, the fourth gain in five sessions. Silver also added 1 percent.
Oil rose as the biggest expansion of U.S. stockpiles in three months countered output cuts by Russia, the largest non-OPEC member that’s joined the group in trimming supply. West Texas Intermediate climbed 0.7 percent to $54.26 a barrel.
Bonds

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was little changed at 2.46 percent, after adding two basis points on Wednesday.
The yield on Spanish 10-year bond added two basis points to 1.7 percent, the highest level in almost a year. German bunds gained, with the yield on the benchmark note due in a decade dropping two basis points to 0.45 percent.
Source