April 27, 2017 / 12:04 PM / 7 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Trump tax cut, ECB questions cool risk rally

* Shares step back from highs after U.S. tax cut plan

* Dollar retreats vs major currencies

* Canada dlr, Mexican peso rebound after Trump NAFTA comments

* BOJ and ECB stand pat, Draghi conference next focus

* European shares snap six-day winning streak

* Swedish crown falls as central bank expands bond buying

By Marc Jones

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - A record-setting rally in world stocks ran out of steam on Thursday, with unconvincing U.S. tax cut plans cooling investors’ spirits and caution setting in as the European Central Bank met.

Europe’s main bourses were as much as 0.7 percent lower as traders pulled back after six days of unbroken gains fuelled by relief at the outcome of the first round of France’s presidential election and encouraging earnings and data.

Wall Street was expected to barely budge when New York reopened while Asia had been groggy too.

The Bank of Japan offered its most upbeat economic assessment in nine years, but Asia-Pacific shares ended flat a day after hitting their highest in almost two years.

A surprise move by Sweden’s central bank to expand its stimulus programme pushed the crown down sharply, while the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso held gains after the U.S. said it would not scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

But the focus was turning to the ECB and what bank head Mario Draghi and his colleagues have made of a recent upturn in euro zone economic data, underscored while they met as the bloc’s economic confidence rose to near a 10-year high.

As widely expected, the bank made no changes to its record low interest rates or stimulus programme, so the market reaction to the meeting may hinge on a few crucial words at Draghi’s 1230 GMT news conference.

“It is possible that the ECB will remove the language stating that the risks (to the economy) remain tilted to the downside,” said Mike Bell, Global Market Strategist, JPMorgan Asset Management.

Euro zone government bond yields nudged up along with the euro which was at $1.0913 having been as high as $1.0950 this week after pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron topped the first round vote in France.

Disappointment lingered elsewhere though after Donald Trump’s plans to slash U.S. tax rates offered no concrete details on how they would be paid for.

Billed beforehand as the biggest tax cut in history, they amounted to little more than a one-page plan and fuelled a suspicion that it could run into opposition from U.S. lawmakers worried about increasing the country’s debt levels.

“There was virtually no new information, just as expected. He was essentially repeating his campaign promises,” said Tomoaki Shishido, senior fixed income strategist at Nomura Securities.


The dip in European shares saw them retreat from 20-month highs, with banks, insurers and commodity-related stocks the main drag, although gains in other cyclical industrials on the back of strong earnings kept losses down.

Deutsche Bank shares fell as much as 3.5 percent as a drop in its revenues overshadowed a more than doubling of first-quarter net profits. Its shares have nearly doubled though since last year’s solvency worries.

Upbeat results from SKF, Bayer and Subsea 7 - companies closely geared to economic growth - were cheered as more investors piled into the European recovery story.

In emerging markets, the peso made the most ground but Turkey’s lira was firing too, hitting its highest since early January as a surprise policy tightening by the country’s central bank reassured investors about its resolve on inflation.

The S&P 500 ended down fractionally on Wednesday as the questions left by Trump’s tax plans overshadowed more upbeat earnings.

Weekly U.S. jobless claims data and a report on durable goods are expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) and Microsoft , Amazon.com and Google parent Alphabet are scheduled to report results after the bell.

Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 11.8 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

China’s growth accelerated at the fastest pace since mid-2015 in the January-March quarter, while South Korea on Thursday also reported stronger than expected first-quarter growth, fuelled by improving global demand.

Among commodities, industrial metals steadied though oil prices dipped again on concerns about globally bloated markets.

Brent futures dropped to $51.23 per barrel, down 59 cents, or 1 percent, from their last close. Brent is almost 9 percent below its April peak.

The dollar, meanwhile, clawed up to 111.34 yen but was still down from near a one-month high of 111.78 yen scored on Wednesday.

Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; editing by John Stonestreet

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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