ETF Trends
ETF Trends

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds weakened Monday as investors turned to safer gold bullion and U.S. Treasury plays in response to mounting political risks.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO), were 0.3% lower Monday.

Meanwhile, gold added 0.9% to $1,232.0 per ounce and yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes dipped to 2.417% on safe-haven trading.

Weighing on risk assets, investors were on edge ahead of several impending European elections, along with ongoing concerns over what President Donald Trump will do next, reports Hilary Russ for Reuters.

“There is a sense of general uncertainty and I’m not sure if you can pin-point it to anything in particular,” Orlando Green, European fixed income strategist at Credit Agricole, told Reuters. “You could say markets are a bit edgy about the political scene in Europe, the political scene in the U.S. and there’s a bit of uncertainty about when the Fed will hike rates next.”

In Europe, traders were particularly concerned over French politics ahead of the April presidential vote as well as other elections in Europe later this year. Many were largely focused on French politics as far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen gained traction, vowing to fight globalization and break France away from the euro bloc.

U.S. investors are also weighing the Trump administration’s plan to balance protectionist trade policies with promised tax cuts and spending increases.

“Following the election, the positive shift in sentiment among investors, business, and consumers suggested that the probability of tax cuts and easier regulation was seen to be higher than the probability of meaningful restrictions to trade and immigration,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists led by Alec Phillips wrote in note, according to Bloomberg. “One month into the year, the balance of risks is somewhat less positive in our view.”

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