A trader works in the two-year and five-year U.S. Treasury note options pit on the floor of the CME Group’s Chicago Board of Trade prior to the Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) interest rate announcement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. (Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg)

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Asian Shares, Dollar Slip On Trump Woes

Asian shares took a cue from the U.S. to trade lower, as fresh reports emerged on President Donald Trump interfering with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe on his former National Security Advisor Micheal Flynn.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropped for a sixth day, declining 0.1 percent, to it lowest since November 8- election day in the U.S. Meanwhile, gold and yen rose as investors flee to safe-haven assets.

Crude extended losses on rising U.S. stockpiles. SGX Nifty futures indicate a flat start for Indian equities after the NSE Nifty index closed at a fresh record high on Tuesday.

U.S. Political Turmoil

Trump asked Comey in February to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Bloomberg reported citing a person who was given a copy of a memo Comey wrote following his Oval Office conversation with Trump.

Trump reportedly told Comey, “I hope you can let this go.”

The latest development adds to the ongoing political turmoil after a report that the U.S. president shared terrorism intelligence with Russian officials, an action he has since defended.

The S&P 500 Index edged lower from all-time highs overnight with nine of 11 sectors retreating following disappointing earnings reports from clothing retailers.

Also Read: Trump Said to Ask Comey to Drop FBI Investigation of Flynn

Crude Extends Fall

Oil extended its decline after industry data showed an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, despite efforts by top producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia to curb output.

The American Petroleum Institute reported a rise in U.S. crude inventory to 882,000 barrels last week. That contrasts with government data due on Wednesday that’s expected to show a 2.67 million barrel decline, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Brent crude for July settlement fell 1 percent to $51.13 per barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange while West Texas Intermediate for June delivery shed 1.1 percent to $48.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Also Read: Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

Flat Start?

The SGX Nifty Index was little changed at 9,519 as of 06:40 a.m., indicating a flat start for the Indian markets.

Indian shares extended their record-setting streak, pushing the NSE Nifty index above 9,500 for the first time, led by gains in financials and automobile stocks.

Shares of Tata Steel Ltd. will be in focus today after it reported a surprise loss in the three months ended March.

Also Read: Tata Steel Posts Surprise Loss On One-Time U.K. Pension Settlement

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