Global markets on edge ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration

donald trump

London’s FTSE 100 stock index inched lower in early trading on Friday with investors hesitant to place major bets ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration at 45th president of the US, reports the Independent.

The index of blue chip shares was down around 0.2 per cent shortly after opening, with shares across the rest of Europe marginally lower too.

Shares tend to be considered a relatively risky asset to hold during times of market uncertainty, with investors preferring to snap up top-rated government bonds, currencies considered particularly stable – like the Swiss franc – and gold.

“Donald Trump’s inauguration today marks the start of what promises to be a fascinating ride with a wide range of outcomes,” says Jim Reid, the head of global fundamental credit strategy at Deutsche Bank

The US election, broadly considered the most divisive in history, sent markets roiling — both before and after the result was announced and Mr Trump has continued to buffet stocks and the dollar with comments and tweets since.

The dollar slipped slipped slightly overnight into Friday after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke of a gradual pace of rate hikes and sounded less hawkish than some had expected.

The dollar index, which measures the strength of the buck against a whole basket of other currencies, had risen sharply on Thursday, spurred by some strong jobs and housing data. Figures also showed that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits also dropped unexpectedly to near the lowest levels in decades.

Back in the UK, Royal Mail was the biggest faller on the UK stock market, with shares recently down over 2.5 per cent after the company on Thursday posted mixed results for the crucial festive period. Packaging company Smurfit Kappa was the biggest gainer.