Dollar extends losses as Trump crisis fuels fears for agenda

"This more detailed release will show how much of the change was due to Easter timing effects (the price of those items affected by the timing of Easter are also included in the ECB's core inflation measure) or whether some pick-up in broader underlying inflation might be emerging", RBC Capital Markets' head of FX strategy Elsa Lignos wrote in a note.

The reports raised questions over whether obstruction of justice charges could be laid against Trump, weakening confidence in the USA president's ability to push through an aggressive stimulus program that investors had been banking on since his election last November.

The three major Wall Street indexes hit session lows in late afternoon trading after the S&P 500 fell below 2369.23, its 50-day moving average. The S&P 500 financial sector .SPSY tumbled 3 percent.

The turmoil engulfing President Donald Trump's administration spilled into financial markets as USA stocks fell the most since March, measures of volatility spiked higher and Treasuries rallied with gold.

The U.S. dollar index touched its lowest since early November on Tuesday, hurt by weaker-than-expected U.S. housing data and concerns after political turmoil once again hit Washington.

Asian equities retreated overnight, S&P 500 Index futures slipped and haven assets from gold to the yen advanced as the unrelenting pace of developments threatened to derail Trump administration policy prescriptions cheered by Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost roughly 1.2%, to 20,732, while the S&P 500 fell 1.14% to 2,373. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.5 percent to 19,814.88 as the yen gained against the US dollar.

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"The only political calibration the Fed has is how much Trumponomics we were going to get that they can't see yet", Neil Dwane, global strategist at Allianz Global Investors, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

US stock market declines picked up in afternoon trading. Even so, USA policymakers "are in the mindset to raise as long as the markets are prepared for it", he said.

It has gained almost 9 percent over the last week though some analysts were skeptical about the durability of the rally despite the proposed supply curbs.

In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.53 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.17 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.27 percent and India's BSE Sensex rose 0.25 percent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is projected to report that crude stockpiles declined by 2.67 million barrels in the week ended May 12, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 0.6 percent from a record, with banks having the biggest impact across all regions.

The yen rose to 0.7 percent to 112.26 yen per dollar, its highest level since May 5, while the Swiss franc rose to 0.9820 francs per dollar, its highest since March 27. Gold futures rose 1.8 percent to $1,256.9 an ounce. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 are down 35 points or 0.6%.

Brent crude was up 1.6 percent at $52.49 per barrel, while US light crude rose 1.4 percent to $49.34.

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