White House Drama Scares Wall Street Into a Summer Weekend

Posted August 21, 2017

The Canadian dollar rose to a two-week high against its USA counterpart on Friday, as data showing an uptick in the Bank of Canada's core measures of inflation supported the view that the central bank will raise interest rates in the fall.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.17 points, or 0 percent, at 6,221.75.

Chief among them were rumours that Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, would resign, following Trump's defense of white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville.

Trump on Thursday again decried the removal of pro-slavery Civil War Confederacy monuments, which have fueled USA racial tensions. The White House confirmed Bannon's exit in a statement Friday afternoon.

The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable for January edged lower to 125-127 paise from 129-131 paise e and the far-forward contract maturing in July 2018 also dropped to 259.50-261.50 paise from 263.50-265.50 paise.

Analysts said recent turmoil in Washington spurred market concerns about whether the Trump administration is able to push through its economic agenda.

All three major indices fell sharply yesterday, with the Dow falling 1.24 percent and the Nasdaq declining 1.94 percent at the close of trading.

Investors were rattled over rumours regarding Economic Adviser Gary Cohn's future
Wall St ends down after more White House turmoil

"The stock market has a great tendency to look at geopolitical or political events, have a small pullback and then just shrug its shoulders", said Burns McKinney, chief investment officer in the Dallas office of Allianz Global Investors. The markets began to give up earlier gains from the morning.

The dollar dropped almost 1 percent against the yen, falling to 108.58 yen JPY=, its lowest since late April.

The sell-off began early in the day in NY and by the close of trading the S&P was 1.5 per cent lower at 2,430.01 while the Dow Jones industrial average shed 274.14 points to 21,750.73.

"A 5 percent correction will occur in the market easily 10 or 15 times a year, (and) we haven't had one this year", Armstrong said.

The S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day percentage loss in about three months on Thursday, with all three major indexes on track to post their worst monthly performance since October.

Oil prices rose on Friday as the stock market strengthened and the US dollar weakened, but USA crude futures remained on track to close the week down as investors remained anxious about the global oil glut.

Gold, seen as a safe haven by investors, jumped 0.4pc to $1,288.68 an ounce.

'America first' to dominate NAFTA negotiations
Freeland said Wednesday afternoon that it was a day of "historic" due to the "modernization" of the agreement. Trump wants it gone - but Canada says it will walk away from the table if the U.S. pushes for its removal.