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Global Stocks Drop Before Trump Speech, Oil Gains

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Global stocks fell while gold and the yen halted three days of gains as investors grew cautious before speeches this week from Donald Trump and Janet Yellen. The British pound slumped while oil climbed.

European stocks fluctuated while banks and exporters dragged equities lower in Tokyo. The yen and gold retreated after trading near the highest levels in three months. Treasury yields rose after falling last week by the most since July. The British pound dropped against all its major peers on a report of a possible Scottish independence referendum in March. Oil extended gains above $54 a barrel and iron ore rallied after last week’s declines.

The rally in global equities that helped push their value above $70 trillion is losing momentum as money managers grapple with political uncertainty and the Federal Reserve’s schedule for lifting borrowing costs. Investors will be hoping for details on Trump’s spending plans as lingering concern about the timing of U.S. fiscal stimulus weighed on the dollar this year, testing its post-election surge. Markets from stocks to currencies have been subject to daily fluctuations as investors hang on each word from central bank officials and politicians.

“We are not sure what Trump’s policies are going to be and whether he’s going to implement them at all,” Kumar Palghat, a portfolio manager at Kapstream Capital, told Bloomberg TV in Sydney Monday. We should get some detail from Trump’s speech Tuesday, he said.

European politics also pose risks for the markets, as investors continue to watch developments on French presidential elections and the U.K.’s Brexit plans. The British pound slumped after the Times of London reported that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing for Scotland to potentially call for an independence referendum in March.

Read our Markets Live blog here.

What’s ahead for this week:

In Trump’s address before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, the president is expected to lay out his plans for tax and health-care reform and infrastructure spending.

Investors will also be watching comments from Fed officials, including Yellen, who speaks at an event in Chicago at the end of the week.

The U.K. government is setting aside time for a Parliamentary battle to overturn changes May fears could be made to her draft Brexit law when it’s debated in the House of Lords this week.

This week’s economic data include U.S. personal income and spending. India and Australia will report on fourth-quarter GDP. China’s PMI data are expected to show continued expansion. Japan reports on factory output, housing starts and capital spending.

Macau’s gambling rebound probably accelerated this month, driven by Chinese high rollers. Numbers are due Wednesday.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The MSCI All-Country World Index slipped 0.1 percent at 8:23 a.m. in London, adding to Friday’s 0.3 percent loss after reaching a record earlier in the week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed, after dropping 0.9 percent over the previous three sessions.

Japan’s Topix dropped 1 percent, retreating for a third day.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.2 percent, failing to hold a gain above 24,000, and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent. China’s economy remained generally steady during the Lunar New Year while sentiment readings show uncertainties over the outlook, according to the earliest private data for February.

Futures on the S&P 500 added 0.2 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at another record on Friday, gaining for an 11th day.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The gauge fell 0.4 percent last week, its first drop in three weeks. The yen fell 0.2 percent to 112.33 per dollar. The currency jumped 1.4 percent over the previous three days.

The British pound lost 0.5 percent to $1.2402. The Times of London cited unidentified government sources as saying May could agree to a new Scottish vote, but on condition it is held after the U.K. leaves the European Union. The currency tumbled 0.8 percent on Friday.

The euro gained 0.1 percent to $1.0578.

Commodities

WTO crude futures rose 0.9 percent to $54.47 a barrel after falling 0.8 percent on Friday.

Gold slipped 0.3 percent to $1,253.97 an ounce. The metal jumped 1.8 percent last week for its fourth straight weekly advanced.

Iron ore jumped 2.7 percent after retreating last week.

Bonds

Yields on 10-year Treasuries added two basis points to 2.34 percent, rising after three straight days of declines.

Australia’s 10-year yields slipped two basis points to 2.71 percent.

Source: Bloomberg