Dollar regains footing while European stock markets sag


AFP

LONDON — The greenback regained its footing on Thursday, after tanking overnight as U.S. President Donald Trump voiced fears about a strong greenback. European stock markets meanwhile churned lower with trade subdued before the long Easter holiday weekend. Investors were also awaiting key first-quarter bank results from U.S. heavyweights JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. In Thursday morning London deals, the European single currency fell to US$1.0641 after briefly strengthening on the Trump remarks. And the U.S. unit held steady against the safe-haven Japanese yen after slumping overnight to 108.73 yen — a low last witnessed in November. The Frankfurt, London and Paris stock markets all shed between 0.4 and 0.7 percent in value. “Trump’s comments about a stronger dollar continued to drive trading this Thursday, the reaction being slightly overdone thanks to subdued volumes ahead of the Easter break,” Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell told AFP. “With both the pound and euro taking nearly half a percent off the greenback, the (European) indices found themselves on the back foot (with) the FTSE, DAX and CAC all in a state of red.” Asian markets were mixed Thursday after Trump also softened his stance on Beijing, easing concerns of a possible trade war, dealers said. The dollar fell after Trump told The Wall Street Journal he was worried about its strength and said he favored low interest rates. Key Figures at 1000 GMT London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 7,307.42 points Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 percent at 12,107.46 Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.7 percent at 5,068.06 percent EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,449.81 Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.7 percent at 18,426.84 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.2 percent at 24,261.66 (close) Shanghai – Composite: UP less than 0.1 percent at 3,275.96 (close) New York – Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 20,591.86 (close) Euro/dollar: DOWN at US$1.0641 from US$1.0671 at 2100 GMT Pound/dollar: UNCHANGED at US$1.2544 Dollar/yen: UNCHANGED at 109.07 yen Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP three cents at US$53.14 per barrel Oil – Brent North Sea: UP two cents at US$55.88