Asian Shares Dip as Trump Fires U.S. Secretary of State and Considers Imposing Tariffs on Chinese Imports

Asian shares fell on Wednesday on account of the possibility of U.S. imposing hefty tariffs on Chinese imports and the removal from office of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson (over policy disagreements with Trump concerning North Korea, Russia and Iran. Tillerson will probably be replaced by CIA Director, Mike Pompeo). Both have caused investors to go long on safer assets at the expense of global equities and the dollar.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan went down about 0.3 percent. This made the index decline from a 6-week high it hit on Tuesday. Australian shares fell by 0.8 percent on early trade. Japan's Nikkei went down by 0.8 percent. South Korea's Kospi index dropped by 0.7 percent.

Oil climbed on account of a smaller than expected rise in U.S. Crude Production

Oil prices went up on Wednesday after two days of declines at the start of the week. The black gold drew support from U.S. crude inventories rising below expectations which implied healthy demand.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed by 13 cent, or 0.2 percent, compared to its previous close, placing it at about $60.84 a barrel. Brent crude futures stood at $64.74 per barrel, after going higher by 10 cent, or 0.15 percent.

The American Petroleum Institute reported on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories went up by 1.2 million barrels within the week ending on March 9, which is lower than analysts’ prior expectations of a 2 million barrels increase.

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