Global Stocks Lower as U.S. Dollar Weakens -- 2nd Update

By Riva Gold and Kevin Kingsbury Features Dow Jones Newswires

Dollar falls to postelection low amid health care bill doubts

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-- Stocks in Europe and Asia under pressure

-- Netflix, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America earnings in focus

Stocks in Europe and Asia were under pressure Tuesday while the dollar fell to postelection lows after Senate Republicans gave up their efforts to dismantle and replace much of the Affordable Care Act.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.7% midday, following modest declines across Asian markets, as a weaker greenback hindered shares of exporters in those regions.

Futures pointed to a flat opening for the S&P 500 amid of a flurry of corporate-earnings reports Tuesday, including results from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. before the opening bell.

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Shares of Bank of America Bank of America were up 0.1% in premarket trading after the lender beat expectations for quarterly profit. Bank shares fell across the board Friday despite posting better-than-expected earnings, and investors will closely watch for any insights into the outlook for major lenders in the second half of the year.

Shares of Netflix Inc. were up over 10% in premarket trading meanwhile after the company blew through its subscriber-growth estimate in the second quarter, kicking off reports from technology sector, this year's best performer.

In Europe, shares in Swedish telecoms-equipment maker Ericsson were down 12% after the company warned that earnings could weaken further after swinging to a net loss in the second quarter.

Shares of Anglo-Australian mining house Rio Tinto fell 1.7% after it scaled back its export guidance for iron-ore production. Iron ore was the biggest driver of Rio Tinto's earnings last year.

But for the most part, currency markets remained in focus. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which hit its lowest level since October on Friday, was recently down 0.5%, while the euro topped $1.15 for the first time since May 2016 and was last up 0.7% at $1.1561.

Investors said the recent struggle to pass a health-care bill added to doubts about the likely implementation of the other policies backed by the Trump administration, weighing on the dollar.

If Republicans can't pass a replacement health-care bill, "there is little else [they] could do" with passing other legislation, said Toshihiko Sakai, senior manager of forex and financial-products trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking.

Fiscal policy is now going to be in the spotlight, said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust. "Once the health care debate and legislation is done, I expect a sudden shift in focus to prospective tax reform, which will have a larger impact on sector performance and dispersion," said Mr. Tilley.

The British pound initially climbed against the dollar Tuesday, pressuring the export-heavy FTSE 100 index, but was last down 0.2% at $1.3026 after data showed an unexpected fall in U.K. consumer inflation in June.

Earlier, consumer cyclicals, or companies whose output of consumer goods tend to be tied to economic growth, led losses in Asia-Pacific trading Tuesday, as weakness in the dollar weighed hurt stocks in Australia and Japan.

The Australian dollar jumped 1.8% to its highest level against the greenback in two years, getting an additional boost from the release of minutes from this month's central-bank meeting. During the gathering, Australian officials discussed the effects of a neutral interest-rate policy. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.2% amid declines in big banks as well as health-care shares.

Weakness in the dollar--both Tuesday and from Friday after weak U.S. economic data--filtered through Japanese stocks after Monday's holiday. The Nikkei was down 0.6% Tuesday, while the dollar was last down 0.4% against the yen at Yen112.1200.

Chinese stocks recovered slightly after Monday's slump. The Shenzhen Composite was up 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.4%.

Elsewhere in markets, gold edged up 0.3% to $1,237 an ounce. Yields on 10-year Treasurys fell to 2.299% from 2.309% on Monday. around their lowest this month. Yields move inversely to prices.

Kenan Machado

, Kosaku Narioka and Robb M. Stewart contributed to this article.

Write to Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com and Kevin Kingsbury at kevin.kingsbury@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 18, 2017 07:25 ET (11:25 GMT)