Lingering concern over Donald Trump’s policies and the U.K.’s position in the European Union accelerated a move toward safer assets, with rallies in gold and the yen stretching to a seventh day. Treasuries rose and European and U.S. equity futures fell with Asian stocks.
The yen continued its longest streak since the run-up to the U.K.’s Brexit vote last year, sending Japan’s Topix down the most since November. The dollar fell against most major currencies before a speech by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May in London where she will say that the U.K. is likely to pull out of the EU’s single market for goods and services and seek a completely new trading relationship with the bloc.
Stock investors are assessing whether the market has run too far during its two-month rally leading up to Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president on Friday. About $3 trillion was added to the value of global stocks in that time as the dollar surged amid signs of inflation and growth picking up. The International Monetary Fund is taking a cautious stance toward Trump’s policies, assuming a modest boost to the U.S. economy from his promise of fiscal stimulus, and upgraded its growth forecast for China’s economy in 2017 to 6.5 percent.
“We’ve had a strong rally in equities and we remain cautious,” said Niv Dagan, Melbourne-based executive director at Peak Asset Management LLC. “There is a bit of angst and nervousness leading up to Trump’s inauguration and on the U.K.’s position in Europe. We expect this volatility to continue in the near term.”
Futures linked to the Euro Stoxx 50 Index dropped 0.3 percent at 7:07 a.m. London time. Futures on the S&P 500 Index also slid 0.3 percent. U.S. markets were closed Monday for a holiday.
The MSCI Asia Pacific index fell 0.1 percent, dropping for a third straight day.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.2 percent. The gauge dropped as much as 1 percent earlier, extending the rout in Chinese shares to six days, the worst run in three years. The Hang Seng was up 0.5 percent.
Japan’s Topix index fell 1.4 percent, the biggest drop since Nov. 9, to the lowest level in more than a month. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.9 percent.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index lost 0.5 percent, set for the lowest level in a month. The U.S. currency fell 0.8 percent against the South African rand and 0.7 percent versus the Mexican peso.
The yen traded at 113.42 per dollar, up 0.7 percent. The currency has strengthened 3 percent over seven sessions, touching the highest level since early December.
The pound rose 0.5 percent to $1.2109, erasing an earlier decline after plunging as much as 1.6 percent Monday. The euro climbed 0.5 percent to $1.0651.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries dropped four basis points to 2.36 percent, after dropping two basis points last week. The securities were shut worldwide on Monday for Martin Luther King Day.
Gold climbed 0.7 percent to $1,211.41 per ounce, extending its winning streak to seven days, the longest since November. Spot gold prices are at the highest since Nov. 23.
Crude oil futures slipped 0.1 percent to $52.30 a barrel.
Iron ore dropped for the first time in seven days, falling 0.6 percent. Futures had rallied 16 percent over the previous six days.