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BLBG: U.S. Stocks Fluctuate With Dollar as Selloff Eases: Markets Wrap
 
South African currency falls on finance minister speculation
Treasuries edge higher; crude climbs as Libya closes pipeline
U.S. stocks fluctuated, while Treasuries and the dollar were little changed as investors weighed whether a selloff in riskier assets stemming from U.S. policy uncertainty has further to run.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sought its first advance in nine days, while banks led gains in the S&P 500 Index as markets continue to digest the failure of U.S. President Donald Trump’s health-care bill. European and emerging-market equities climbed. The rand tumbled on the prospect of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma firing his finance minister. Oil climbed as OPEC member Libya halted the pipeline from its biggest field.

Markets are struggling for direction as questions swirl around Trump’s ability to push through tax cuts and regulatory changes, pledges that helped trigger an upswing in global markets after his election. The so-called reflation trade has faded this week, and Bloomberg’s dollar index is trading near the lowest level since his victory.

“Bond and FX market participants’ reaction to the failure of the health-care bill has been to re-price Treasuries and the dollar under the assumption that President Trump has lost a little of his shine,” Kit Juckes, a London-based global strategist at Societe Generale SA, wrote in a note.

Read our Markets Live blog here.

Here are this week’s key events:

The start of two years of Brexit negotiations will be formally triggered by a letter from Theresa May, U.K. prime minister, on Wednesday.
Proposals to design and build Trump’s promised 2,000-mile border wall between the U.S. and Mexico are due March 29.
Hungary, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand are among countries setting interest rates.
Samsung Electronics Co. will introduce its Galaxy S8 smartphone, the company’s first new mobile phone since the debacle with the Note 7 battery fires that led to its recall.
Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent to 2,342.04 at 9:43 a.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is looking to avoid what would be its longest slump since 1978.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent, led by auto and media companies.
The MSCI Emerging Market Index added 0.4 percent.
Currencies

The rand slid 1.8 percent to 12.9654 against the dollar following Monday’s 2.5 percent decline. Prior to this drop, the currency had gained 9.5 percent year-to-date, making it a top emerging-market performer.
The British pound and euro were little changed against the dollar, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was also little changed after dropping 0.4 percent Monday.
Bonds

Yields on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.37 percent after falling three basis points on Monday.
European bonds mostly rose, with 10-year German yields falling two basis points to 0.38 percent.
Commodities

Gold added 0.2 percent to $1,256.96 an ounce after rising 0.9 percent Monday.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.1 percent at $48.24 per barrel following a 0.5 percent drop the previous day.
Asia

The Topix Index climbed 1.3 percent, recovering after Monday’s tumble. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index also rose 1.3 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.5 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up 0.7 percent.
Source