(Adds comment, updates prices, changes dateline; previous
* Dollar slips, bonds rally after Trump short on stimulus
* Healthcare stocks in Europe drop 2 percent after Trump
* Oil consolidates after bounce, gold hits 7 week high
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, Jan 12 Wall Street stocks fell nearly
1 percent and the U.S. dollar dropped to a five-week low on
Thursday after President-elect Donald Trump's eagerly awaited
news briefing the previous day ignored his fiscal policies,
which are expected to boost the economy.
Investors were hoping for commentary on the new
administration's plans for fiscal stimulus and tax cuts.
Instead, Trump remarked on a broad range of topics such as the
Mexican wall, allegations of Russian hacking and his business
interests but left out what investors wanted to hear about -
"The lack of focus in Mr. Trump's first press conference
since winning the election fanned worries about the
president-elect's willingness or ability to drive a pro-growth
agenda once in office," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst,
at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
In late morning trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 157.13 points, or 0.79 percent, at 19,797.15,
the S&P 500 fell 16.5 points, or 0.725173 percent, to
2,258.82 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 53.70 points, or
0.97 percent, to 5,509.95.
The dollar, meanwhile, hit a five-week trough against a
basket of major currencies and was on track for its worst week
since November. The dollar index, which measures the
greenback against six major currencies, last traded down 0.7
percent at 101.04. The dollar slid to a five-week low versus the
yen and last traded down 1.3 percent at 113.91 yen.
Trump did not mention tariffs against Chinese exports, a
relief for Asian markets fearing the outbreak of a global trade
war. But there was more pain for the dollar as the euro drove
higher on ECB minutes showing a split over stimulus.
The President-elect's lack of policy detail also put safety
plays such as bonds and gold back in favor. and the retreating
dollar brought relief for Brexit-bruised sterling and
Benchmark U.S. Treasury 10-year note prices rose 13/32, with
the 10-year note yield down at 2.321 percent.
German 10-year yields, however, rose to 0.313 percent
European shares also fell, bucking gains in Asia
overnight and weighed down by a 2 percent slump in healthcare
stocks after Trump had said pharmaceutical firms had
been "getting away with murder" with their prices.
In commodity markets, oil was higher, bolstered by news that
Saudi Arabia has cut oil output to its lowest in almost two
years, according to its energy minister. The world's largest oil
exporter leads OPEC's drive to eradicate a global glut and prop
U.S. crude was trading up 1.4 percent at $52.97 and
Brent crude was up 88 cents at $55.98 a barrel,
following gains of nearly 3 percent on Wednesday.
The weaker dollar also helped metals markets. Gold rose to a
seven-week high just shy of $1,200 per ounce while London
copper traded up almost 2 percent after electronic
trading there was delayed by a five-hour outage.
The recently weak Chinese yuan also firmed 0.6
Asset management giant PIMCO said on Thursday it thought
there was a chance Beijing could fully float the yuan this year.
"Over the year, our base case is for the yuan to decline
against the U.S. dollar by a mid- to high-single-digit
percentage," said Luke Spajic, PIMCO's head of Asian portfolios.
"However, we also think the possibility that the PBOC will
allow the yuan to float freely, or at least widen its trading
band, has increased."
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by
Sam Forgione, Richard Leong in New York, and Yashaswini
Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)