Trump’s remarks leave Wall Street poised for a lower start

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Wall Street is poised to spend a third day in the red after Donald Trump said the US dollar was too strong and as investors eye results from America’s biggest banks.

S&P 500 futures were down 0.3 per cent to 2,333.25, while Dow futures were off by 0.2 per cent to 20,466. Meanwhile, Nasdaq futures were also 0.3 per cent lower at 5,358.

The president’s comments on the US dollar in an interview with the WSJ on Wednesday added to market jitters and briefly hit the buck.

“His comments follow a three-month decline in the broad measure of the dollar,” Marc Chandler at Brown Brothers Harriman, said. “If a leader of another country said what he did, they likely would be accused of manipulating their currency.

That said, in the US Treasury’s criteria of currency manipulation, jawboning does not count. Still, it seems a departure from the G7 and G20 agreements, and like areas, this is an exambasis pple of unilateralism.”

Mr Trump also said that he would not label China a currency manipulator, despite campaign promises to do so, and said he had signalled to Xi Jinping that China could get better trade terms if they towed the line on North Korea adding to uncertainty on his administration’s priorities.

Indeed, the Vix, also dubbed Wall Street’s fear gauge, was up 2.2 per cent to 16.14 — taking its weekly rise to 25 per cent.

Investors were also watching for results from some of Wall Street’s biggest banks — with JPMorgan reporting a 17 per cent rise in first quarter profits and with Wells Fargo and Citigroup slated to post results later in the morning — and a batch of economic data including readings on inflation and consumer sentiment.

Investors also sought refuge in have assets with the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which moves inversely to price, sliding 1.4 basis points to 2.23 per cent. Meanwhile, gold prices ticked up 0.1 per cent to $1,287.63 a troy ounce, approaching the key psychological level of $1,300.

Trading volume has remained light on Wall Street this week as many observe Passover and ahead of the long weekend as US markets are closed on Good Friday.

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