4 Min Read
* Wall Street sinks on poor earnings, Trump fears
* Yen, gold, Treasuries rise as stock market dips
* Emerging markets continue upward with oil, commodities rise (Updates to European market close)
By Dion Rabouin
NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - 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 weeks.
A disappointing profit report by Macy's and ensuing 15.4-percent drop in its shares took a toll on the U.S. consumer discretionary sector.
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 percent.
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 close.
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 Countries.
In recent days, major producers have voiced support for extending last year's deal from OPEC and other producers to cut supply.
Bank of England policymakers kept rates unchanged and indicated that interest rates were unlikely to rise until late 2019.
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)