Uncertainty is shaking the markets again as Donald Trump tweeted last week that he will be holding his first press conference as US President-elect on January 11 to talk about his upcoming plans.
The dollar edged down for a second day on Tuesday, as cautious investors booked profits before the news conference.
As a result, gold prices climbed to a six-week high, while copper surged with iron ore after China’s producer price index jumped. Oil slipped below $52 a barrel in New York.
Analysts said that this conference, the first one in almost six months, could be more relevant than the inauguration date, set for January 20, as it should provide pointers to what his presidency will look like.
“We’re in a political event risk this week,” said Mazen Issa, senior currency strategist at TD Securities in New York. “Markets pretty much are in a holding pattern right now.”
On Monday, declines in energy and financial stocks weighed on the S&P 500 and helped stall the Dow’s pursuit of the 20,000 milestone ahead of earnings season and expected U.S. policy changes under Trump.
Commerzbank currency strategist Esther Reichelt said:”The market is increasingly nervous about Donald Trump’s press conference – for FX markets what will be particularly important will be his plans … for the trade policy, for the relationship with China,
“The Fed has stressed this enormous uncertainty, so … the main driver right now (for the dollar) is not monetary policy, because monetary policy will react to what we’re going to hear from Donald Trump in the next couple of weeks.”
The uncertainty ahead of Trump’s comments decreased demand for the dollar and investors fear that he could shake markets by taking an aggressive line on issues such as trade policy and relations with China.
“Cautiousness ahead of the news conference is turning into a bit of optimism, if you look at how Trump’s tweets are playing out in the market,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK.
Trump, known for announcing and then cancelling press conferences, has been criticized for the timing of this event, as cabinet confirmation hearings have also started this week. Critics said that he is hoping to deflect attention from any unsavory revelations that might emerge from the hearings.
But according to analysts, traders are also watching the hearings which started on Tuesday with US Senator Jeff Sessions, picked for attorney general.
Also, setting the press conference for Wednesday will give the incoming US President a chance to respond to Obama’s farewell speech scheduled for Tuesday night.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.