LONDON — European stocks are slipping on Wednesday after allegations that US President Donald Trump pressured former FBI director James Comey
to drop an investigation into former US national security adviser Michael Flynn in February.
According to reports from the New York Times, Comey reportedly created records of interactions he had with Trump which he deemed “improper efforts to influence an ongoing investigation.”
During the meeting, the president asked him to drop the FBI investigation, Comey’s memo said.
“He is a good guy,” Trump told Comey, according to the memo. “I hope you can let this go.”
The story, which broke late in the European evening on Tuesday, pulled Asian stocks lower overnight, and that risk-off tone has continued as trading passes to Europe.
By 8.25 a.m. BST (3.25 a.m. ET), all of the continent’s major bourses are in negative territory for the day, with movements generally around 0.5%.
Here is the scoreboard:
“A negative opening call comes after risk appetite was dealt a blow overnight by claims that US President Trump may have tried to coerce ex-FBI Director Comey into dropping the probe into Gen. Flynn,” Mike van Dulken of Accendo Markets writes in his morning email to clients.
“This adds to a darkening cloud of controversy and disarray hovering over the White House. It also means more questions about the administration’s ability to garner enough Republican, let alone bipartisan support, for the policy pledges for which investors are growing increasingly impatient.”
While stocks are slipping, gold is on the rise — as is usually the case in times of turmoil. The safe haven has gained 0.5% so far on Wednesday to trade above $US1,240 per ounce.
Here is the chart: