The Stock Market Is Still Looking Shaky

Wall Street futures extended declines during European trading hours, while global stocks continued to retreat from multi-year and all-time highs as investors question the fate of U.S. tax reform and keep a sharp eye on rising government bond yields in the single currency area.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is set for a 64-point decline, according to early futures prices, following the benchmark's triple-digit losses Thursday that pulled stocks lower all over the world. The broader S&P 500 is looking at a slightly larger 0.42% decline, futures suggest, while financial bookmakers are calling the Nasdaq 25 points, or 0.35% lower, at the opening bell.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, was marked 0.05% lower at 94.45 while benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yields were seen 3 basis points higher at 2.37%.

"In a nutshell, the Senate has pretty much taken out any of politically contentious tax policies - with the corporate tax rate cut to 20% delayed till 2019 (as opposed to the House's intent for instant enforcement)," wrote ING analyst Viraj Patel. 

"Moreover, Senators remain wary that drastic changes still need to be made in order to adhere to their more stricter fiscal rules, such that the tax bill can be voted through with a simple majority. With the Congress week-long Thanksgiving recess starting next Friday, the odds of a GOP tax plan landing on President Trump's desk this side of Xmas remain slim-to-none," he added.

Bull or bear?

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 benchmark was marked 0.25% lower in the opening hours of trading as benchmarks around the region sagged in response to details of the Senate Republican tax plan, which would phase-in corporate tax cuts until 2019 while also providing a far less sweeping series of changes to a U.S. tax code that hasn't had a major overhaul since 1986.

Markets were also shook by a sharp rise in European government borrowing costs as investors dumped bonds amid a robust outlook for the region's economy and subsequently snuffed out a record-setting global stock rally. German government bond yields rose a further 2 basis points to 0.4% Friday after Thursday's spike and set of a cascade of rate increases around the currency area. It also trimmed 1.49% from the DAX performance index, its second-largest decline of the year and the biggest since late June.

Curiously, the moves came amid a ringing endorsement for the Eurozone economy from the European Commission, which said collective GDP growth for the 19 countries that use the single currency should expand at a 2.2% clip this year -- well ahead of its Spring estimate of 1.7% -- and 2.1% in 2018. The region's executive branch also said it expects to see France and Spain to cut budgets deficits deeply enough to align with EU rules and sees Italy's debt-to-GDP ratio peaking at 132.1% this year.

Overnight in Asia, however, broader stocks held up relatively well, with the MCSI Asia ex-Japan index holding to 10-year highs, even as it slipped 0.01%, while the Nikkei 225 shed 0.82% to end the week at 22,681.42 points while a benchmark gauge of volatility rose 23% to the highest level since April.

In China, shares in Ping An Insurance (Grp) Co., the world's largest, were marked 5.38% higher in Shanghai trading while rival New China Life Insurance rose 5.66% and China Pacific Insurance Group gained 4.47% after the government said it will ease restrictions on foreign ownership of bank and insurance sector firms as President Xi Jingping continues to push his reform agenda following the cementing of his leadership at the Communist Party Congress.

China's benchmark CSI index closed the Friday session 0.88% higher at a 2017 high of 4,111.91 points.

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