Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Asian markets fall on Trump impeachment move

Asian markets fall on Trump impeachment move

Asian markets fall on Trump impeachment move

Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday after US Democrats launched formal impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump and on renewed trade fears as the president adopted a hard line on China.

In a dramatic move, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry after US markets closed.

Democrats accuse Trump of abuse of power in a reported attempt to pressure the newly installed president of Ukraine to open a corruption investigation into his lead challenger for the White House, Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter.

Trump denounced the inquiry as “Witch Hunt garbage” and said he would release a transcript of his phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky.

“The impeachment hearing announcement delivered a knock-out blow to stocks markets already weak at the knees,” Oanda senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note.

Concern over US political turmoil added to worries over international trade after Trump ripped into China at the UN, declaring that the time of Beijing’s “abuses” of the system was “over”.

Touting what he argued were the benefits of his tariff war with China, Trump reiterated his hope that a trade agreement “beneficial to both countries” could be struck.

“But as I said very clearly, I will not accept a bad deal for the American people,” he said.

The US political twists and Trump’s uncompromising comments ahead of Sino-US trade talks next month hit markets.

Tokyo closed down 0.4 per cent and Shanghai slipped 1.0 per cent while Hong Kong ended 1.3 per cent lower.

Seoul also fell 1.3 per cent and Taiwan gave up 0.4 per cent while Singapore was trading 1.1 per cent lower and Mumbai was down 1.2 per cent. The Cambodia Securities Exchange index inched up by 0.33 per cent.

European markets also slid at the open, with London and Frankfurt both down 0.5 per cent while Paris shed 0.6 per cent.

Oil prices took a hit, with West Texas Intermediate off 0.9 per cent and Brent down 1.1 per cent following Trump’s tough talk on China and after data indicating a build up in US crude inventories.

“Oil markets continue to sell as risk sentiment remains sour after Trump accused China of currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property and product dumping,” said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

“Mind you this is nothing shockingly new but coming on the cusp of trade negotiations, it doesn’t exactly suggest he’s laying down the welcome mat for the Chinese delegation.”

In currency trading, the pound slipped against the dollar. It had rallied on Tuesday following Britain’s Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament was “unlawful”, providing a spark of hope that Brexit will be more orderly than previously feared.

“The ensuing British Pound rally was a bit underwhelming. It probably reflected the uncertainty of both Mr Johnson’s tenure and the Brexit process with October the 31st looming,” said Oanda’s Halley.

MOST VIEWED

  • Man Covid-19 positive after Thailand trip

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday reported the third Covid-19 case in less than two weeks, bringing the total to 125. The man, a 26-year-old from Tbong Khmum province's Tbong Khmum district, arrived at the O'Beichoan border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province on Thursday. He is

  • Kingdom's GDP growth to narrow -1% to -2.9%, World Bank says

    The World Bank expects further recoil on Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to between minus one per cent and minus 2.9 per cent for 2020 as its main growth drivers – tourism, manufacturing exports and construction – take a beating due to Covid-19, its latest economic update

  • Vietnam: Tougher sentences for child abusers

    Several National Assembly (NA) deputies in Vietnam are calling for tougher penalties to be handed down to child abusers. They hope stricter punishments will act as a strong deterrent to prevent offenders committing further offences in the future. Extreme measures such as chemical castration were

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered