Asian markets dip, dollar hit by US security adviser resignation

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By 2017-02-15

Asian markets dipped Tuesday after a three-day rally but analysts said there was likely room for further gains as traders bet Donald Trump will help fire up the US economy.

Shares around the world have resumed their Trump surge since the tycoon promised Thursday to unveil details of tax reform, while also softening his stance on key trade partners China and Japan.
While most markets across Asia were in the red on Tuesday, there was some support from data showing a surge in Chinese factory gate prices, indicating a further pick-up in the world's number two economy.

Tokyo's Nikkei index tumbled 1.1 per cent on profit-taking and as the yen rebounded against the dollar after Trump's national security advisor Michael Flynn resigned over his contacts with Russia.
"The news dampens slightly the expectations for a smooth implementation of various policies," Minori Uchida, head of global market research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, told Bloomberg News.
But he added: "Market expectations on Trump are about his economic policies, and while Flynn's post is significant, it isn't directly related."

Hong Kong was flat in the afternoon and Shanghai also barely moved as profit-taking overshadowed news that China's producer price index hit 6.9 per cent in January – its highest level since 2011. The PPI is closely watched as a guide to future consumer prices.

The consumer price index also improved, rising 2.5 per cent.
There are hopes the rise in inflation will put upward pressure on prices around the world, fuelling much-needed inflation to spur the global economy.

In other markets Seoul slipped 0.2 per cent and Sydney reversed morning gains to finish 0.1 per cent off. Singapore shed 1.2 per cent, while Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok also slipped.
The losses came despite another record close on Wall Street and healthy gains in Europe, where dealers cheered an upward revision of eurozone growth for this year and next.

However, Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader, said in a note that confidence was rising and dealers were putting "faith in Donald Trump's ability to deliver and implement his transformative policies for the US economy".

He added that "traders are betting his focus is back on the positive aspects of the tax, regulatory and growth aspects of his policy platform".

The focus now turns to Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen's two-day grilling in Congress that starts later Tuesday. Her testimony will be pored over for clues about the central bank's monetary policy plans, hoping she will shed light on when it will next lift interest rates. In Japanese trade Toshiba dropped eight per cent after it delayed releasing financial results expected to include billions of dollars in losses from its ailing US nuclear power unit. (AFP)

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