By Trevor Hunnicutt
NEW YORK, Nov 10 – World stock markets and the U.S. dollar edged lower on Friday on signs that U.S. tax reforms could be delayed after Senate Republicans offered a plan that differed significantly from the House of Representatives’ version.
MSCI’s global stock index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, declined 0.2 percent, slipping further from a record level. On Thursday, the global index fell 0.4 percent following 10 straight days of gains.
“The pause that the market is currently in is directly related to what’s going on from a tax standpoint,” said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist for Northern Trust Corp .
The MSCI world index has surged more than 20 percent so far this year, and some investors believe a pullback is due.
The hiatus over tax reforms weighed on the U.S. dollar. The dollar index, which tracks the unit against six key world currencies, fell 0.1 percent, and is set for its biggest weekly drop in four weeks.
Wall Street retreated on concern over delays in corporate tax cuts, though a rise in media stocks limited the slide.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41.17 points, or 0.18 percent, to 23,420.77, the S&P 500 lost 5.45 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,579.17 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.84 points, or 0.12 percent, to 6,742.21.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was on track for its worst week in three months, down 0.2 percent on Friday and falling for a fourth day in row.
“There’s a feeling out there that there’s a long-awaited correction, and no one wants to be caught by surprise,” Emmanuel Cau, global equity strategist at JP Morgan, said.
U.S. Republican senators said they wanted to slash the corporate tax rate in 2019, later than the House’s proposed schedule of 2018, complicating a push for the biggest overhaul of U.S. tax law since the 1980s.
The House was set to vote on its measure next week. But the Senate’s timetable was less clear.
“I would say a compromise will be reached,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.
“But if they indeed decide to delay the tax cut by a year, there is likely to be some disappointment.”
The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield last fell 16/32 in price to yield 2.3877 percent, while German government bond yields climbed to their highest in over a week as euro zone bonds were sold across the board for a second consecutive day.
The yield on Germany’s 10-year government bond , the benchmark for the bloc, hit 0.40 percent for the first time since Oct. 27.
In the currency market, the euro up 0.17 percent to $1.166.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.15 percent versus the greenback at 113.32 per dollar.
Oil prices steadied on expectations of supply cuts by major exporters and concern about political developments in Saudi Arabia, sparked after the purge of 11 princes and the arrest of dozens of other influential figures since last week.
A spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry said the kingdom planned to cut crude exports by 120,000 barrels per day in December from November.
U.S. crude rose 0.28 percent to $57.33 per barrel and Brent was last at $64.21, up 0.44 percent on the day.
(Additional reporting by Kit Rees and Helen Reid in London and Hideuyki Sano in Tokyo; Editing by Bernadette Baum)