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Asia: Markets sink with Wall St on fears for Trump agenda

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 11:10

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[HONG KONG] Asian markets tumbled on Wednesday, tracking a US and European sell-off as the Trump-fuelled surge in equities went into reverse on fears about the prospects for the tycoon's plans to fire the world's top economy.

The dollar also struggled to recover against its major rivals and suffered fresh losses against high-yielding units as the euphoria that was injected into markets after the US president's November election fizzled.

After hitting multiple records this month, Wall Street's main indexes suffered their worst losses since Donald Trump's win, dragging Europe with them, as dealers fret about his agenda.

The key cause for concern is Thursday's vote in Congress on the replacement for Obamacare, with many Republicans opposed to it in its current form.

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Market voices on:

Analysts say the inexperienced Trump is spending too much capital on the issue and if he is unable to push it through a Republican-controlled Capitol Hill, then his other plans - particularly infrastructure spending, tax cuts and deregulation - could be in trouble. Such promises were a key factor in the global markets rally.

The president travelled up Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday to warn the party is could lose its majority if it fails to push through his bill.

"There is an ugly sea of red across global markets this morning as traders finally succumb to their fears that the positive benefits of Trumponomics are going to be delayed," Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note.

"The impact of this is that the tax and infrastructure policy and implementation the market has been aching for looks set to be delayed. This is a sign that investors are losing faith in Trumponomics."

Tokyo ended the morning two per cent lower as the dollar sank to its lowest level against the yen since November, while Hong Kong shed one per cent and Shanghai gave up 0.2 per cent.

Sydney was 1.5 per cent lower, Singapore shed one per cent and Seoul slipped 0.6 per cent. Wellington, Taipei, Manila and Jakarta also suffered hefty losses.

With expectations for economy-friendly measures petering, the dollar has taken a severe hit. It extended Tuesday's losses against the yen but held its ground against the pound and euro.

However, the South Korean won jumped 0.5 per cent, Australia's dollar rallied one per cent and the Indonesian rupiah was 0.2 per cent higher. The Mexican peso, which after Mr Trump's win hit regular record lows, was also one per cent higher.

REUTERS

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