TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks fell on Wednesday after 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.
The dramatic move by House of Representatives Democrats compounded investors’ anxieties with confidence already shaken by new worries about U.S.-China trade negotiations.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.82%, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.63%, while Australian shares fell 0.60%.
Chinese shares slumped and oil futures extended declines after Trump harshly criticized Beijing’s trade practices in a speech at the United Nations, damping hopes for a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war.
The dollar nursed losses against most major currencies as the 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.
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