Stocks fall in Europe and Asia as investor concern over the pace of U.S. economic growth overshadows a widely telegraphed rise in Federal Reserve interest rates that lifted the dollar off recent lows. As David Pollard reports, media allegations that President Trump is facing a new probe for possible obstruction of justice didn't help.
An up day for the dollar but a down day for stocks as Europe looked to America .... And a surprisingly hawkish Federal Reserve. Janet Yellen announcing a hike - and signalling more. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS, JANET L. YELLEN, SAYING: "Additional gradual rate hikes are likely to be appropriate over the next few years to sustain the economic expansion." Her statement largely brushing off concerns over the pace of the US economy. Though amid those - and a slide in resource stocks on weak crude prices - European shares slipped close to two-month lows. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD TRADER AND STOCK MARKET STRATEGIST AT ODDO SEYDLER BANK, OLIVER ROTH, SAYING: "The US is not quite so dynamic at the moment. And when you look at the inflation figures there is a downward trend. That's why some people thought the interest rates weren't going to be raised at all." Yellen instead signalled further hikes ahead - and outlined plans to shed 4.5 trillion dollars of bond purchases. With a further twist coming from China. Its central bank left policy unchanged. In March, it followed a Fed hike within hours. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "China faces a very interesting cocktail of pressures ... The Chinese authorities are wanting to watch and wait determine what to do next, particularly given that the yuan has been relatively stable compared with some expectations." The expectations for this man look rockier. Donald Trump now under investigation by a US special counsel for obstruction of justice, according to the Washington Post. A charge that if upheld could move him closer to impeachment .... Worried investors already moving away from riskier assets.