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Industrials drag US stocks lower, dollar slips

Industrials led the decline on the S&P 500 and Dow after General Electric posted downbeat results and helped drag the sector lower.

The S&P 500 slid 0.2 per cent to 2,468.20 in a broad based decline. Industrials were down 0.8 per cent on the day, the worst performer in the early minutes of trade, while telecoms which led the benchmark index on Thursday, slid 0.4 per cent. Financials were flat and the only two sectors not in the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 per cent to 21,539.81, while the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.2 per cent to 6,376.63 leaving it poised to snap its longest winning streak since February 2015.

General Electric, America’s largest manufacturing group by market capitalisation was the biggest decliner on the S&P 500, down 4 per cent to $25.71 after it posted a drop in earnings. Meanwhile, Caterpillar shares were off 1.2 per cent to $105.97, American Airlines shares were down 1.5 per cent to $51.55, United Rentals shares were down 1.3 per cent to $120.94.

Meanwhile, US media reports of an expansion of the probe into allegations of possible collusion between the Russian government and Mr Trump’s presidential campaign —, to include Mr Trump’s businesses renewed fears about the president’s ability to deliver on his economic agenda and weighed on the US dollar. The dollar index fell 0.2 per cent to 94.09.

Indeed, the euro rose as much 0.4 per cent to $1.1677 before trimming its gains to trade about 0.2 per cent higher. However, the Aussie dollar fell 0.5 per cent to $0.7920 after the Reserve Bank of Australia’s governor said just because central bank’s elsewhere were ratcheting up rates, didn’t mean the central bank would move.

Elsewhere, the yield on the US 10-year, which moves inversely to price, fell by 2.1 basis points to 2.239 per cent.