USA stocks mixed on tension over North Korea, global economy

During his campaign, Trump accused Fed chair Janet Yellen of being "political" and "doing what Obama wants her to do", by keeping rates at zero, but now he likes a low-interest rate policy and may reappoint Yellen to a new four-year term, Sayed said.

On the dollar's overall value against major trading partners, Trump said: "I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that's my fault because people have confidence in me".

The fall in 10-year Treasury yields narrowed the premium over shorter-dated yields. The shrinking premium of long-dated yields over shorter-dated ones hurts banks' profitability. A declaration that China manipulates the exchange rate of its yuan to gain a trade advantage could have opened the way to sanctions.

"The question is: Is he able to influence monetary policy in order to get a weaker dollar?"

The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note was at 2.244 per cent after touching 2.239 per cent overnight, its lowest in almost five months. It is down 15 basis points this week, marking the sharpest weekly drop since October 2015.

Trump penned an op-ed on the subject in the very newspaper to which he made Wednesday's statement, the Wall Street Journal.

In a Wall Street Journal interview Trump said China has not been a currency manipulator "for some time" and had instead been trying to prevent its currency from weakening.

Most financial markets will be closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday, meaning trading volumes on Thursday have been much lighter than usual.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.29%, or 59.44 points, to end at 20,591.86; the Nasdaq ended 0.52% less, or 30.61 points, at 5,836.16; the S&P 500 fell 0.38%, or 8.85 points, to finish the day at 2,344.93.

South Korea's central bank is also expected to hold interest rates steady, at 1.25 percent. A 17 percent rise in profit from JP Morgan, the biggest US bank by assets, failed to give a meaningful boost to financials or equities more broadly.

Gold was up 0.03 percent at $1,286.11 an ounce after hitting a five-month high earlier in the session.

Throughout the campaign, Trump repeatedly said he would instruct his Treasury Secretary to label China "a currency manipulator".

The dollar index, which gauges the United States currency against a basket of six major counterparts, dipped below the key 100 level during the Asian session to reach its lowest level this month.

The yen rose 0.1 per cent to 108.87 per dollar as of 9:11am in Tokyo, up 2 per cent this week to trade at the highest level since November.

For now it only takes a few words- "the dollar is too strong" from wizard Trump to act as a magic wand in sending the USA dollar down immediately.

"The market had a big reaction, but I think it was an overreaction", said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in NY.

Global benchmark Brent was slightly lower at $55.84, failing to make up any of Wednesday's 0.7 percent loss.

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