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Monday, February 19, 2018
Trump Agenda Setback Scuttles Dollar; U.S., European Shares Off

Trump Agenda Setback Scuttles Dollar; U.S., European Shares Off

goldprice.comBy Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - The dollar stumbled on Tuesday and U.S. Treasury yields fell after a fresh setback to U.S. President Donald Trump's domestic agenda, while a mixed batch of earnings reports left U.S. and European stock indexes lower.

The collapse of his fellow Republicans' push to repeal and replace Obamacare with their own healthcare bill in the U.S. Senate again raised doubts in financial markets about Trump's ability to enact tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

The dollar fell 0.6 percent against a basket of key currencies, setting a 10-month low and extending its 2017 decline to more than 7 percent.

"It pushes out the rest of the agenda. It´s hard to do a tax reform in the style that it was campaigned on," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. "The healthcare hurdle pushes everything in Trump´s agenda to 2018."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 94.98 points, or 0.44 percent, to 21,534.74, the S&P 500 lost 2.55 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,456.59.

The Nasdaq Composite added 7.12 points, or 0.11 percent, to 6,321.55.

Netflix shares soared after the streaming television company's strong customer growth, boosting the Nasdaq.

Shares of Goldman Sachs and Bank of America fell after those banks' respective quarterly reports, and weighed on bank indexes in the United States and Europe .

Harley-Davidson shares tumbled after the motorcycle maker's weak forecast.

In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 1.09 percent. Sweden's Ericsson tumbled after a worse-than-expected second-quarter loss.

goldprice.comMSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.05 percent after touching an all-time high on Monday.

In currencies, the euro was up 0.84 percent to $1.1574 against the dollar. Aside from the Trump agenda setback, there are increasing doubts about further near-term rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

"The setback for Trump is a setback for the U.S. dollar," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York. "I think that really casts doubt on the Trump administration's broader strategies."

Expectations for the Fed hiking interest rates this year have been pushed back to the fourth quarter, the latest Reuters poll of economists showed. A poll conducted last month predicted the Fed would raise rates by September.

"Clearly, anything that comes along at the moment just corroborates the market's negative attitude on the dollar," said Neil Mellor, senior FX strategist with Bank of New York Mellon in London.

"There's just not enough inflation at the moment. And anything like this (defeat for Trump) is liable to push it lower."

U.S. Treasury yields fell after the latest political drama in Washington, while more data pointed to benign inflation with a drop in import prices for a second straight month.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 12/32 in price to yield 2.2678 percent, from 2.309 percent late on Monday.

Yields across the globe rose sharply after Trump won the U.S. election in November on promises for tax reforms and infrastructure investment that were expected to boost growth and inflation in the world's largest economy.

Oil prices rose as demand soaked up some of the surplus supplies from OPEC and the United States.

U.S. crude rose 0.54 percent to $46.27 per barrel and Brent was last at $48.74, up 0.66 percent on the day.

Copper rose 0.18 percent to $6,006.50 a tonne. Spot live gold price added 0.7 percent to $1,241.96 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York, Vikram Subhedar in London,; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Nick Zieminski)

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