Shares tumble on impatience over Trump policies; euro gains

Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:46pm EDT
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By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. and European shares tumbled on Tuesday on concerns that higher interest rates and pro-growth U.S. policies were on hold, boosting safe-haven Treasuries and gold prices, while the euro hit a more than six-week high against the dollar on soothed French election worries.

The U.S. S&P 500 financial sector .SPSY fell as much as 2.8 percent and was on track for its biggest daily plunge in nine months. Analysts attributed the selling to reduced confidence that U.S. President Donald Trump's pro-growth policies, including financial deregulation, would occur soon, and to concerns of a dovish Federal Reserve.

The Fed stuck to its outlook for two more hikes this year last week, instead of the three expected by many market participants.

The tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq Composite fell as much as 1.7 percent after hitting a record intraday high earlier on the back of Apple (AAPL.O: Quote) shares, which briefly touched a record $142.80 a share before falling.

Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 stock index also fell after earlier hitting a 15-month high. It closed down 0.50 percent, at 1,480.99.

"Led by financials and industrials, the stock selloff suggests that investors may be less confident that the Trump administration’s pro-growth announcements will be translated into policy implementation soon," said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz in Newport Beach, California.

MSCI's all-country world equity index .MIWD00000PUS was last down 2.72 points, or 0.6 percent, at 448.34.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was last down 193.85 points, or 0.93 percent, at 20,712.01. The S&P 500 .SPX was down 24.57 points, or 1.04 percent, at 2,348.9. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 88.32 points, or 1.5 percent, at 5,813.21.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., March 21, 2017.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson