* Wall Street sinks on poor earnings, Trump fears
* Yen, gold, Treasuries rise as stock market dips
* Emerging markets continue upward with oil, commodities
(Updates to European market close)
By Dion Rabouin
NEW YORK, May 11 U.S. and European stocks fell
on Thursday, along with the U.S. dollar, while U.S. Treasury
yields reversed earlier declines, as political uncertainty in
the United States sent investors in search of safer investments
like gold and the Japanese yen.
Investors were concerned about developments relating to the
firing of FBI Director James Comey late on Tuesday by U.S.
President Donald Trump.
White House officials told Reuters Trump's decision had been
building for months, but a turning point came when Comey refused
to preview for top Trump officials his planned testimony to a
Senate panel, a decision considered an act of subordination by
Trump and his aides.
"The market has continued to get a little bit ahead of
itself and it’s just looking for any sort of a reason to have a
pullback," said Catherine Avery, president of Catherine Avery
Investment Management in New Canaan, Connecticut.
"Part of it is worry the distraction that we’ve had with
Comey is going to take people’s eyes off the tax reform and
health care reform."
U.S. stocks trimmed losses, but the benchmark S&P 500 was
still on track for its largest one-day percentage fall in four
A disappointing profit report by Macy's and ensuing
15.4-percent drop in its shares took a toll on the U.S. consumer
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17.31 points,
or 0.08 percent, to 20,925.8, the S&P 500 lost 4.83
points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,394.8 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 10.54 points, or 0.17 percent, to 6,118.60.
A gauge of global stock markets was down 0.2
Wall Street's losses pushed U.S. Treasury yields lower after
touching their highest levels since March. Further selling of
Treasuries was limited by a weak 30-year auction.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.52 percent,
weighed by financials. Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan rose 0.6 percent and Japan's
Nikkei rose 0.31 percent on Thursday.
MSCI's emerging markets index continued to shine,
boosted by a second day of strong oil price gains, and was
headed towards its highest level in two years. The index has
gained 15.4 percent year to date, more than doubling the 2017
gains of the S&P.
"We are seeing relief with commodity prices trading higher,"
said Piotr Matys, emerging markets FX strategist at Rabobank.
But he added these were likely to be short-term gains as
commodity prices could weaken again. Iron ore futures in China
dipped to a four-month low on Wednesday before recovering at the
Brent crude futures rose 1 percent, extending Wednesday's 3
percent gains on the back of the biggest one-week drop in U.S.
inventories so far this year and the decision by Iraq and
Algeria to join Saudi Arabia in supporting an extension to
supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
In recent days, major producers have voiced support for
extending last year's deal from OPEC and other producers to cut
Bank of England policymakers kept rates unchanged and
indicated that interest rates were unlikely to rise until late
Sterling fell more than half a percent to a one-week
low of $1.2847.
The dollar was last down 0.3 percent against the yen,
after four days of gains.
Earlier, the New Zealand dollar sank as much as 1.5
percent after the country's central bank kept to a neutral bias,
warning markets they were reading the outlook wrongly and
expressing approval of the currency's declines this year.
Gold prices rose 0.45 percent to $1224 per ounce,
while copper touched its highest in a week.
(Additional reporting by Claire Milhench in London; Editing by
Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)