Tokyo, Japan (BBN) – Asian markets were mostly lower after US President Donald Trump suffered a legislative defeat last Friday when Republican leaders pulled a bill to overhaul the US health care system with the dollar weaker and gold prices up.
Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped more than 1.51 per cent and the safe-haven yen strengthened, reports CNBC.
Shares of Toshiba tumbled 2.91 per cent after local media reports that Toshiba’s US subsidiary Westinghouse may file bankruptcy on Tuesday and seek support from Korea Electric Power.
Australia’s ASX 200 fell 0.17 per cent, weighed by its materials sub-index which fell 1.38 per cent.
Australian miner South32 said Monday morning that it would buy back $500 million of its shares.
Shares of the South32 sold off 1.84 per cent.
BHP Billiton dropped 2.72 per cent, after the Escondida copper mine strike in Chile left the Australian miner with a loss of about $1 billion and in a weaker negotiation position, Reuters reported.
In South Korea, the Kospi was off 0.46 per cent after South Korean prosecutors said they will seek a detention warrant for ousted President Park Geun-hye, who has been accused of taking bribes from big businesses.
The Shanghai composite was nearly flat and the Shenzhen composite was down 0.39 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.17 per cent.
Chinese property developer Kaisa Group shares soared 70.51 percent, after resuming trading on Monday after a two-year suspension.
Kaisa’s shares were not allowed to resume trading before reporting updated financial statements.
On Sunday, a Beijing-backed civil servant Carrie Lam was chosen to be Hong Kong’s next chief executive, in what has been called a “small circle election.”
The majority of the special administration’s 7.3 million people did not have the chance to vote, as the leader was chosen among several candidates by a 1,194 person election committee.
Dow futures fell 117 points, S&P 500 futures were down 15.3 and Nasdaq futures were 40.7 points lower on Monday at 10:55am HK/SIN.
US stocks had a choppy trading session last Friday, after media reports that the House pulled a key health care vote that was seen as crucial for President Donald Trump’s agenda.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.29 per cent to 20,596.72, the S&P 500 slipped 0.08 per cent to close at 2,343.98 and the Nasdaq composite added 0.19 percent to 5,828.74.
“The failure of the US Republican party to pass legislation repealing the universal healthcare act may come back to bite markets,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, in a Monday note.
“The failure of the Obamacare repeal is not economically significant, but a hostile parliament threatens the positive outlook,” he said.
The White House warned rebellious conservative lawmakers that they should support Trump’s agenda, or he may bypass them on future legislative fights, Reuters reported.
On the energy front, Brent crude futures slipped 0.12 per cent to $50.74 a barrel while US crude dipped 0.29 per cent at $47.83.
A joint committee of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers has agreed to review whether a global pact to limit supplies should be extended by six months, according to a statement on Sunday.
The dollar was weaker at 99.295 against a basket of currencies at a four-and-a-half month low.
Against the greenback, the yen was weaker at 110.34, falling below the 111 levels seen last Friday, and the Australian dollar remained steady at $0.7625.
Investors are also focused on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to set out how her government plans to restore sovereignty over Britain’s laws in a speech scheduled for Thursday.
The pound last traded at $1.2519 at 10:55am HK/SIN.
Spot gold, viewed as a safe-haven asset, was trading higher at $1,255.11 an ounce, a one-month high.