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GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. Treasuries rise, dollar falls as Trump gives little policy detail

Wed, 11th Jan 2017 19:30

* Trump press briefing short on policy details-analyst

* U.S. stocks mixed on day, dollar falls steeply after Trump

* U.S. Treasuries rally after Trump briefing

* Oil prices continue their ascent (Recasts, updates prices, adds analyst comment)

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasuries rallied across the board on Wednesday, while the dollar fell after trading higher for most of the session as President-elect Donald Trump did not provide much clarity on his future policies.

U.S. stocks also weakened initially after Trump took aim at the pharmaceutical industry for charging high prices. He said pharmaceutical companies are "getting away with murder."

"U.S. Treasuries rose because stocks caved in with Trump's pharmaceutical comments," said Kim Rupert, managing director of global fixed income at Action Economics in San Francisco. "Overall Trump did not really say anything new. As a result, we're still in wait-and-see mode with respect to his policies."

In his first press briefing as U.S. president-elect, Trump presided over a wide-ranging session that touched on topics such as allegations of Russia spying, Mexico, his business interests, and drug pricing.

But the briefing, which lasted longer than people expected, did not break new ground, analysts said.

Traders were hoping that after making generally broad statement for the last two months on what he intended to do as president, Trump would give more specific details about key policy reforms.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.2 percent on the day at 19,901.57, while the S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 2,262.98. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.1 percent, to 5,526.05, a day after hitting a record high.

Other global stock indexes edged higher as well.

The UK's FTSE 100 posted a record 12th straight day of gains while European shares rose 0.2 percent to 364.90.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also gained 0.83 percent, to 445.2, while the MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, inched 0.2 percent higher to 429.88.

In the bond market, benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury prices were up 9/32 in price, yielding 2.344 percent, down from Tuesday's 2.379 percent. German 10-year yields also fell to 0.2410 percent, from 0.248 percent the previous session.

Trump's comments reversed earlier dollar gains, with the dollar falling 0.4 percent against a basket of currencies to 101.58. The greenback also fell sharply versus the yen, down 0.7 percent at 114.92 yen.

Trump's campaign calls for tax cuts and more infrastructure spending have boosted U.S. shares and the dollar, as well as driving a selloff in Treasuries, but his protectionist statements and a flurry of off-the-cuff Tweets have kept many investors from adding to risky positions.

"The hope is for a pivot back toward the Trumponomics agenda, which was three key themes: tax reform, deregulation, and infrastructure spending," said Vassili Serebriakov, a currency strategist at Credit Agricole in New York.

Trump has vowed to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office on Jan. 20 and has threatened to slap huge tariffs on imports from China.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and top members of Trump's transition team are discussing a controversial plan to tax imports.

Economists have warned that protectionist measures could stifle international trade and hurt global growth.

"From a currency perspective, markets will aim to get a clearer picture on trade, fiscal stimulus and the new administration's relationship to the Fed," Morgan Stanley strategists wrote in a note to clients.

Sterling meanwhile edged towards a 10-week low against the dollar on Wednesday, kept under pressure by fears that Britain will undergo a "hard" exit from the EU in which access to the single market will play second fiddle to immigration controls. But by early afternoon trading as the dollar weakened, sterling rose 0.4 percent to $1.2225.

In commodity markets, oil rose, lifted by reports of Saudi supply cuts to Asia, but gains were capped by a lack of detail about the reductions and because of signs of rising supplies from other producers.

Brent crude was last up $1.76, or 3.3 percent, at $55.4 a barrel. U.S. crude, on the other hand, climbed 3.4 percent, to $52.54 per barrel. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Vikram Subhedar in London and Sam Forgione in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Next Article: Dollar surge, political nerves send sterling to 3-month low

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