- Global Stocks Drop on Final Day of Stellar Quarter
Global stocks were poised to end a blockbuster quarter with a whimper, with investors seeing little reason to take shares higher amid political and economic uncertainty in the coming quarter. The rand tumbled after South Africa’s finance minister was fired.
European stocks fell for the first time in four days and U.S. equity futures pointed to a lower opening. Oil held just above $50 a barrel and headed for the biggest weekly gain this year on speculation OPEC will extend its deal to curb output. European government bonds and Treasuries were steady with gold as the dollar rose.
Investor focus in the second quarter looks set to be on whether political developments in the U.S. and Europe will cloud the a brightening global economic outlook. President Donald Trump’s setback on a flagship health-care bill has cast a shadow on his fiscal agenda, while French elections could be a litmus test for the rise of European populism.
“There’s a strong sense of political uncertainty going forward in both the U.S. and Europe,” said Masaru Hamasaki, head of the investment information department at Amundi Japan Ltd. “In the U.S., the repeal of the Obamacare replacement bill has continued to create confusion. In Europe, we’ve only just had the U.K. trigger Article 50. We’ve already essentially entered the new fiscal year, and its difficult to keep buying when you look to the future.”