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Asian stocks fall as focus shifts to Trump, Yellen after Draghi

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by July 21, 2017 General

Investors look at computer screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai April 21, 2016. Asian equities fell for the first time in 10 days over news of a Trump probe that may stall his economic agenda. — Reuters picInvestors look at computer screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai April 21, 2016. Asian equities fell for the first time in 10 days over news of a Trump probe that may stall his economic agenda. — Reuters picSINGAPORE, July 21 — Asian equities fell for the first time in 10 days, as investors chose to take some profit off the table amid an investigation into the US president that may stall his economic agenda.

The Federal Reserve’s meeting on July 26 also kept some investors on the sidelines ahead of the weekend after the European Central Bank deferred the decision on policy normalisation until later this year.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 per cent to 159.13 as of 4.35pm in Hong Kong, snapping its longest winning streak since April 2015. The US special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s US presidential election is said to be examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates.

Asia’s equity benchmark rose 4.4 per cent in the nine sessions through yesterday, with markets in Japan and Hong Kong near two-year highs.

It is a “bit of profit taking” amid weak cues from global markets before the Fed’s rate decision next week, said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based global strategist at AMP Capital Investors Ltd, which manages about US$120 billion (RM514.1 billion).

“The US is overvalued, while rest of the world isn’t, so Asian stocks have more to gain especially as the Chinese economy is looking stronger and monetary policies in the region are relatively supportive,” Oliver said. — Bloomberg

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