Global stocks flat, dollar falls on Trump chaos, Fed minutes

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street indexes cut gains on Wednesday and the dollar reversed course on turmoil in Washington and U.S. Federal Reserve meeting minutes that showed worries about low inflation.

Stocks pared earlier gains in a choppy session as investors worried that a backlash against President Donald Trump’s comments after a violent weekend rally would stunt his ability to deliver on his pro-business promises.

Fed policymakers were ready to roll out a plan to shrink its balance sheet but were increasingly wary about recent weak inflation and some called for a halt to interest rate hikes until it was clear the trend was transitory, according to the July meeting minutes.

U.S. stocks regained some ground after the minutes, but were lower than where they were before Trump disbanded two high-profile advisory councils after several CEOs quit in protest at his remarks blaming violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, not only on white nationalists but also on the protesters who opposed them.

“This calls into question the ability of the Trump administration to get anything done in terms of tax and infrastructure reforms. It’s another piece of evidence of the administration’s mounting problems,” said John Doyle, Director Of Markets at Tempus Consulting, Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 21.94 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,020.93, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.95 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,466.56 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 5.78 points, or 0.09 percent, to 6,338.80.

Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 15, 2017.Neil Hall

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.32 percent, with the euro EUR= up 0.29 percent to $1.1767 after Reuters reported that European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi would not signal policy changes at a meeting next week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

After the minutes, U.S. Treasury yields stayed near session lows that they had hit in mid-afternoon as investors increased bids for government debt after news of Trump’s disbanding of the advisory panels.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 10/32 in price to yield 2.2325 percent, from 2.266 percent late on Tuesday.

The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last rose 18/32 in price to yield 2.8127 percent, from 2.84 percent late on Tuesday.

Oil prices fell even though U.S. crude stockpiles declined by the most in a year, as the government also reported that domestic crude production was edging higher.

U.S. crude CLcv1 fell 1.49 percent to $46.84 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $50.34, down 0.91 percent on the day.

Spot gold XAU= reversed course and added 0.8 percent to $1,281.23 an ounce as the dollar fell and investors turned back to safe haven assets.