Asian Shares Tumble After Tillerson Exit, Wall Street Drop

A man looks at an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Asian shares fell Wednesday, taking their cue from a dip on Wall Street after the abrupt departure of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Concern over tariff hikes announced by President Donald Trump was weighing on sentiment.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.9 percent to close at 21,777.29. Australia’s AS&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.7 percent to 5,935.30. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 2,486.57. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.3 percent to 31,182.84, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.4 percent to 3,296.28. Shares also fell in Southeast Asia.

“Over and above the reflection of chaos within the U.S. administration, the removal of another balancing voice in the White House shortly after ex-economic adviser Gary Cohn’s departure certainly induced jitters within the market,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

The S&P 500 index lost 0.6 percent to 2,765.31. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.7 percent to 25,007.03. The Nasdaq composite fell 1 percent to 7,511.01, its first decline after seven straight gains. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 0.6 percent, to 1,592.05.

Behind the Wall Street drop was Trump’s blocking of Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom’s effort to buy Qualcomm, one of the biggest makers of processors that power smartphones and other mobile devices. The deal would have been the largest in the history of the technology industry and Broadcom’s offer came as other countries are also getting ready to build faster “5G” wireless networks.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 2 cents to $60.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slumped 65 cents to $60.71 a barrel overnight. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 14 cents to $64.50 per barrel.

The dollar fell to 106.52 yen from 106.58 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.2397 from $1.2388.

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