Asian traders headed into the weekend on a nervous note Friday as a pick-up in US stocks and positive data were offset by worries about a crisis engulfing Donald Trump’s presidency that could throw his economic agenda into doubt.
Markets in the region were rocked Thursday by claims by recently fired FBI boss James Comey that the president pressed him to drop a probe into ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn’s links to Moscow.
That came a day after it was reported Trump had divulged classified information to Russia’s foreign minister, fanning further allegations about his own ties to the country’s leaders. The reports compounded a crisis at the White House that has led for calls for the tycoon to be impeached, fanning fears that his plans for tax cuts and ramped up infrastructure spending could be knocked off course.
Trump on Thursday slapped down the accusations against him and said he was the victim of the “greatest witch hunt” in American political history. US dealers—who on Wednesday saw Wall Street suffer its heaviest losses since Trump’s November election—were cheered by better-than-forecast jobs claims figures and manufacturing data, helping the three main indexes to post small gains.—AFP