Global Markets: Asian shares edge lower as U.S. House readies Trump impeachment inquiry

By Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks fell on Wednesday after the U.S. lawmakers called for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, increasing the prospects of prolonged political uncertainty in the world's largest economy. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2%, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.55%, while Australian shares fell 0.66%.

Reuters September 25, 2019 07:06:20 IST
Global Markets: Asian shares edge lower as U.S. House readies Trump impeachment inquiry

Global Markets Asian shares edge lower as US House readies Trump impeachment inquiry

By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks fell on Wednesday after the U.S. lawmakers called for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, increasing the prospects of prolonged political uncertainty in the world's largest economy.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was down 0.2%, Japan's Nikkei <.N225> fell 0.55%, while Australian shares <.AXJO> fell 0.66%.

The dollar nursed losses against most major currencies as the impeachment inquiry sets the stage for a fierce battle between Democrats and Trump's Republican Party over whether the president sought foreign influence to smear a political rival.

Sterling remained broadly supported in Asia after the UK Supreme Court ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to shut down parliament was unlawful, a move that could thwart his plan to pull Britain out of European Union next month with or without a deal.

Oil futures declined, reflecting concerns that political uncertainty and U.S.-China trade friction will weigh on global economic growth.

"There are a lot of factors out there that could potentially hurt market sentiment," said Tsutomu Soma, general manager of fixed income business solutions at SBI Securities in Tokyo.

"However, some hedge funds have to close their books at the end of the month, so it may be difficult for the market to move."

U.S. stock futures, , rose 0.19% early in Asia on Wednesday, but the mild gains are unlikely to improve sentiment for Asian shares.

The push for an impeachment inquiry and disappointing U.S. economic data weighed on Wall Street on Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 <.SPX> 0.84% lower, its biggest daily decline in a month.

The U.S. House of Representatives will launch a formal impeachment inquiry over whether Trump sought help from the Ukraine to smear former Vice President Joe Biden, a front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Trump has denied the claims.

It is uncertain whether the results of the inquiry will lead to an impeachment because of Trump's support in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The dollar index <.DXY> measuring the greenback against a basket of six major currencies was little changed after falling 0.3% on Tuesday.

Sterling traded at $1.2485 , down 0.1%, having trimmed some of its overnight gains made following the UK court ruling.

In response to the UK Supreme Court's decision, Johnson said he disagreed and vowed that Britain would leave the EU by Oct. 31 deadline, come what may.

Calls for Johnson's resignation could grow, which would cast even more uncertainty over how the UK would complete its divorce from the EU.

U.S. crude futures dipped 0.73% to $56.87 a barrel as Trump sharpened his criticism of China's trade policies in a speech at the United Nations, dealing a blow to hopes for a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war.

China is a major consumer of commodities, but the trade war has caused its economic activity to slow.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 1.6456%. The two-year yield also rose to 1.6156% as Treasury prices gave some of their gains posted in U.S. trading.

(Editing by Sam Holmes)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.