All Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Wednesday (22 March), with the Shanghai Composite down 0.73% at 3,237.95 as of 4.24am GMT amid growing investor doubts over US President Donald Trump's economic plans.
Global equities rallied post the US presidential elections and investor confidence was boosted by Trump's promises of reforming the US tax system and increasing the infrastructure spend in the country.
However, now investors are said to be re-evaluating their optimism following a series of recent roadblocks ahead of the upcoming vote to do away with the Affordable Care Act. The roadblocks are said to be questioning Trump's ability to fulfil his promises.
"It seems traders view the upcoming House health care vote as a proxy of all things Trump and his full mandate to govern," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Group, was cited by MarketWatch as commenting on the same.
Alex Wong, a fund manager at Ample Capital, was cited by Reuters as saying: "Asian stocks have had a good run so this is a good excuse to take some money off the table though there is plenty of cash waiting on the sidelines to be invested if the selloff intensifies."
Another factor impacting the markets was North Korea's missile test earlier in the day from a site near Wonsan, in the eastern part of the country. This was said to have failed as the missile appeared to have exploded within seconds of its launch.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 4.48am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||24,251.14||Down||1.39%|
On 21 March, the FTSE 100 closed 0.69% lower at 7,378.34 while the S&P 500 index closed 1.24% lower at 2,344.02.
Among commodities, oil prices declined amid oversupply concerns overshadowing the latest talks by Opec to extend its output cuts. As of 12.42am EDT, WTI crude oil was down 0.29% at $48.10 (£38.55) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.26% lower at $50.83 a barrel.