* Shares step back from highs after U.S. tax cut plan
* Dollar retreats vs major currencies
* Canada dlr, Mexican peso rebound after Trump NAFTA
* BOJ stands pat, ECB next focus
* European shares snap six day winning streak
* Swedish crown falls as central bank expands bond buying
By Marc Jones
LONDON, April 27 A record-setting rally in world
stocks ran out of steam on Thursday, with unconvincing U.S. tax
cut plans cooling investors' spirits and caution setting in as
the European Central Bank met.
Europe's main bourses were as much as 0.7 percent
lower as traders pulled back after six days of unbroken gains
fuelled by relief at the outcome of the first round of France's
presidential election and encouraging earnings and economic
Asia felt groggy too. The Bank of Japan offered its most
upbeat economic assessment in nine years but Asia-Pacific shares
ended flat a day after hitting their highest in
almost two years.
A surprise move by Sweden to expand its stimulus programme
pushed the crown down sharply, and the
Canadian dollar and Mexican peso jumped as the
U.S. said it would not scrap the North American Free Trade
But the focus was turning to the ECB and what its head Mario
Draghi and his colleagues have made of the recent improvement in
euro zone economic data.
The bank is not expected to make any changes to its record
low interest rates or mass-stimulus programme, so market
reaction to this meeting may hinge on just a few crucial words.
"It is possible that the ECB will remove the language
stating that the risks (to the economy) "remain tilted to the
downside," said Mike Bell, Global Market Strategist, JPMorgan
Euro zone government bond yields nudged up along with the
euro which was at $1.0913 having been as high as $1.0950
this week after pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron topped the first
round vote in France.
Disappointment lingered after U.S. President Donald Trump's
plans to slash company tax rates to 15 percent from the current
35 percent and 39.6 percent for small firms offered no details
on how they would be paid for.
Billed beforehand as the biggest tax cut in history, it
amounted to little more than a one-page plan and fuelled the
suspicion that it could run into opposition from U.S. lawmakers
worried about increasing the country's debt levels.
"There was virtually no new information, just as expected.
He was essentially repeating his campaign promises," said
Tomoaki Shishido, senior fixed income strategist at Nomura
The dip in European shares saw them retreat from 20-month
highs, with financials and commodity-related stocks the main
drag, although gains in other cyclical industrials, on the back
of strong earnings, kept losses down.
Deutsche Bank shares fell as much as 3.5 percent
even as its first-quarter net profit more than doubled following
a rebound in bond trading. It shares have nearly doubled though
after worries about its future late last year.
Elsewhere, upbeat results from the likes of SKF, Bayer and
Subsea 7, companies closely geared to economic growth, were
cheered as more investors piled into the European recovery
Wall Street futures pointed to a flat start for New York.
The S&P 500 ended down fractionally on Wednesday as the
questions left by Trump's tax plans overshadowed more upbeat
Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have
risen 11.8 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
China's growth accelerated at the fastest pace since
mid-2015 in the January-March quarter, while South Korea on
Thursday also reported stronger than expected first-quarter
growth, fuelled by improving global demand.
Among commodities, industrial metals steadied though oil
prices dipped again on concerns about globally bloated
Brent futures dropped to $51.60 per barrel, down 22
cents, or 0.42 percent, from their last close. Brent is almost 9
percent below its April peak.
The dollar, meanwhile, slipped to 111.23 yen from
near a one-month high of 111.78 yen scored earlier on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; editing by