While US stocks closed near session, and all time highs on Friday, the first green close on inauguration day in over 50 years, Monday has seen a modest case of buyer’s remorse, with European stocks sliding, Asian shares mixed and U. S. futures lower as the dollar weakened for the 3rd consecutive day to a six-week low, dropping as much as 1% against the Yen, as anxious investors awaited more details of Donald Trump’s policies, or – as Reuters put it – the “Trump reality set in.” While European shares and US equity futures sold off in early trading, tracking the USDJPY, the now traditional buying levitation wave has emerged, pushing US futures close to unchanged on the session.
The modest risk off session, which comes after world stocks hit multi-year highs earlier this month on expectations Trump would boost growth and inflation with extraordinary fiscal spending measures, has seen shares in developed markets fall with the dollar, while lifting metals and Treasuries after Donald Trump offered little more on plans to boost growth while stirring concerns over protectionism in his first days in office. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index dropped to its lowest level this year, while U. S. futures slid and the dollar fell against all major peers. The weaker currency pushed aluminum to the highest in more than a year, while ten-year Treasury yields fell a second day.
“The focus this morning is on the protectionist rhetoric and the lack of detail on economic stimulus, so it’s a nervous start (to the presidency),” said Investec economist Victoria Clarke. “The other concern is how the Fed interprets Trump’s stance, the worry being the less he does on fiscal stimulus the more nervous they may get on pushing the rate hikes through.”
While the U. S. President’s campaign-trail promises to boost growth and spending helped drive a post-election rally in equities and the dollar, by Monday, investors were calling into question how words would be translated into actions. So far, Trump has focused on a feud with the press over attendance at his inauguration rather than offer concrete plans, leaving investors in limbo. As the chart below shows, while stock dispersion may have risen in recent weeks, cross-asset correlation remains as high as ever, with most asset classes trading largely as a continuation of the Trump trade.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 23, 2017.