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Dollar Slide after Trump's Planned Health Reforms Implode

Benchmark U.S. crude was up 77 cents at $46.79 a barrel
By The News · 18 of July 2017 08:36:12
A man walks past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, A man walks past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi), photo: AP/Shizuo Kambayashi

Global shares and the dollar stuttered Tuesday as a planned health care overhaul in the U.S. imploded and raised questions over the prospects for President Donald Trump’s reform agenda.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.7 percent to 5,191 while Germany’s DAX dropped 1.1 percent to 12,445. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares bucked the trend after softer than anticipated inflation figures reined in expectations of an imminent interest rate hike from the Bank of England. The index was up a tad at 7,406. U.S. stocks were poised for a subdued open, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.1 percent.

HEALTHCARE REFORM: The Senate Republican health care bill suffered a potentially fatal setback Monday when two more GOP senators announced they would vote no in an initial, critical vote expected as soon as next week. The implosion leaves the divided GOP with its flagship legislative priority in tatters.

DOLLAR DIVES: The dollar has been particularly hit by Trump’s failure to repeal and replace his predecessor’s flagship health care reforms. The euro was up 0.7 percent at $1.1554 while the dollar fell 0.5 percent to 112.04 yen.

ANALYST TAKE: “The dollar doesn’t actually care about the health care bill specifically, but rather what it means for Trump’s ability to get anything done, something that could come to affect his infrastructure and tax plans down the road,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

UK RATE RELIEF: Inflation in Britain unexpectedly fell in the year to June, in a development that’s likely to ease market expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates soon. The Office for National Statistics said consumer prices were 2.6 percent higher in the year to June, down from 2.9 percent the previous month. The pound fell sharply after the inflation data as traders priced in a lower interest rate profile. It was down 0.3 percent at $1.3016. Earlier it had hit a 2017 high above $1.31 as traders bet that the inflation data would be higher than anticipated and potentially force the hand of the bank to raise interest rates soon.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.6 percent to finish at 19,999.91 as the yen gained against the dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 1.2 percent to 5,687.40. South Korea’s Kospi was flat at 2,426.04. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.2 percent to 26,524.94, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.4 percent to 3,187.57. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed, and India’s Sensex dropped 0.9 percent to 31,798.54.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 77 cents at $46.79 a barrel while Brent, the international standard, rose 87 cents to $49.29 a barrel.