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While you were sleeping: Wall St, oil slip as Trump exits Iran deal

Wednesday 9th May 2018

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Wall Street and oil prices slid after US President Donald Trump announced the US pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran and will reimpose sanctions, renewing concern about geopolitical tensions. 

“We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction,” Trump said at the White House. “Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.”

West Texas Intermediate crude traded 1.5 percent weaker at US$69.67 a barrel as of 3.09pm in New York. Earlier in the session, it had fallen more than 4 percent. 

“He’s not closed the door and shunned them. He wants a new deal. The door is open to try again, which is probably less harsh than what he could have said,” Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, told Reuters.

“There’s going to be speculation around any un-measurable risk and political risk is un-measurable. This afternoon will be the real effect now he’s made the statement,” Battle said.

In 2.54pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index also declined 0.3 percent. In 2.38pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 0.3 percent.

The Dow fell as declines in shares of Verizon and those of Merck, recently down 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of General Electric and those of American Express, recently up 1.8 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.

US Treasuries slipped, lifting the yield on the 10-year note one basis point to 2.96 percent.

Meanwhile, the latest jobs data underpinned bets the US Federal Reserve might have to accelerate its planned pace of interest rate increases. The Labour Department's Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, showed US job openings rose by 472,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.6 million in March, a record high.

“The labour market is hot and getting hotter by the day so central bankers need to continue to take the punch bowl away because higher wages and greater inflation are on the way,” Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York, told Reuters. 

Shares of Comcast sank, down 5 percent as of 3.15pm in New York. The US cable operator is asking investment banks to increase a bridge financing facility by as much as US$60 billion so it can make an all-cash offer for the media assets that Twenty-First Century Fox has agreed to sell to Walt Disney for US$52 billion, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday, Reuters reported. 

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a 0.1 percent gain from the previous close. However, the UK’s FTSE 100 Index inched 0.02 percent lower, France’s CAC 40 Index fell 0.2 percent, while Germany’s DAX index gave up 0.3 percent. 

(BusinessDesk)

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