Talking Points

  • Asian markets retreated as the withdrawal of a key US healthcare bill cast doubt on the Trump Administration’s legislative power
  • The Dollar slipped too as rate-hike bets based on a pro-growth Trump program were pared
  • Chinese industrial profits surged as raw material prices recovered

Asian markets were mostly lower on Monday, following Wall Street’s lead as doubts rose over US President Donald Trump’s legislative ability. Republican leaders Friday pulled a key bill aimed at overhauling US healthcare.

Worries of policy gridlock on Capitol Hill, and the possible knock-on effects of that on global markets which expect a radical pro-growth agenda, sent the US Dollar lower too. The Nikkei slipped 1.4%, with a haven bid for the Yen weighing it down.

Toshiba slipped nearly 4% on local media reports that its troubled US subsidiary Westinghouse may file for bankruptcy on Tuesday. In Australia, the ASX 200 fell 0.2%, growth worries weighed on its plentiful raw-material names.

In Seoul ,the Kospi shed 0.5% after local prosecutors said that they would seek the arrest of President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached earlier this year after accusations of bribe-taking. Shares were just higher in Shanghai and just lower in Shenzhen, despite news that Chinese industrial profits rose 32% between January and February. The profit was mostly due to rises in the price of coal, steel and crude oil.

Hong Kong stocks fell following Sunday’s choice of pro-Beijing civil servant Carrie Lim as next chief executive of the territory.

Gold prices rose as the failure of that US AHCA healthcare bill saw rate-hike bets pared. Crude oil gained then fell. Hopes that major producers might extend their production cut into the second half of the year were dashed when they opted instead to review the matter next month.

The rest of the session will offer Germany’s Ifo business sentiment survey. As for central bank speakers, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans and European Central Bank chief economist Peter Praet, will take the stage in Madrid.

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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX

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