Most Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Friday (17 February) with the Shanghai Composite down 0.46% at 3,214.62 as of 5.00am GMT following a loss of momentum on Wall Street overnight.
This was said to be amid profit-taking and a loss of investor confidence following Donald Trump's latest rant against the mainstream media. On Thursday, the US president, in his first solo press conference, claimed his administration was doing well despite the media's contrary view.
"The media is trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges we made and they're not happy about it. But a lot of people are happy about it. I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, I see stories of chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine," he said.
Angus Gluskie, MD at White Funds Management, was cited by Reuters as saying: "Apart from a reflection of the slight easing in US market momentum after several strong days, investors are making some greater allowance for rising risk...Trump's erratic performance in the press conference has had a destabilising influence on investor confidence."
In Asia, the stock in focus was Samsung Electronics. Investors were concerned following the arrest of the South Korean firm's heir Lee Jae-yong for allegedly abetting corruption and bribery. Analysts see this impacting both the company and the Korean economy.
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.18am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||23,988.08||Down||0.50%|
On 16 February, the FTSE 100 closed 0.34% lower at 7,277.92, while the S&P 500 index closed 0.09% lower at 2,347.22.
Among commodities, oil prices gained over reports that Opec might consider extending its output reduction pact with non-members and even call for deeper cuts if inventories don't meet the earlier targets. As of 12.10am EST, WTI crude oil was up 0.11% at $53.42 (£42.72) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.22% higher at $55.77 a barrel.