Gold prices rose to a two week high in early European trading and U.S. Treasury bond yields tumbled as investors ploughed cash into safe-haven assets amid a global market selloff triggered by allegations that President Donald Trump sought to shut down a federal investigation linked to his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Spot gold prices rose more than $6 an ounce in early London trading to change hands at $1,242, the highest level since May 3, while benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yields traded at 2.29%, the lowest since April 25.
The risk aversion has also pressured the dollar, which traded at the lowest levels since the November elections against a basket of its global peers after the The New York Times reported Tuesday that President Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop his probe into Flynn, who was forced to resign on Feb. 13 amid questions over his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States and discussions of U.S. sanctions.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go," Trump told Comey, according to the Times. "He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president shortly after it took place, according to the Times, citing two people who read the memo. It is part of a paper trail Comey created documenting what he believed to be improper efforts to influence the investigation.
Trump reportedly told Comey that Flynn had done nothing wrong. The memo said Comey did not say anything about ending the investigation but agreed that Flynn is a "good guy."
The White House denied the version of events in the memo provided to the Times. Flynn's lawyer declined to comment when contacted by a BuzzFeed reporter.
The Times report may present the clearest evidence yet that the president has tried to influence government investigations into links between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Early indications from U.S. futures prices suggest significant declines for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the opening bell, with the benchmark poised for a 130 point decline, the equivalent about 0.6%. Similar percentage declines are also priced in for the broader S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
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