Dollar drives downturn in Asia equities

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The dollar drove Asia Pacific stock trades on Thursday, battering most of the region’s bourses as local currencies gained on the greenback.


The dollar index sank another 0.7 per cent in Asia trading, bringing the greenback down 1.1 per cent for the week after Donald Trump said the dollar was “getting too strong” in an interview published on Wednesday.

In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.7 per cent, led lower by a 2.8 drop from the materials sector and a fall of 1.8 per cent from energy stocks.

Tokyo’s Topix was by far the hardest hit, down 1.1 per cent with losses in almost every segment as the yen strengthened. As in Australia energy and materials stocks were the worst off, falling 2.9 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

In Hong Kong the local currency’s dollar peg did few favours for local stocks, as the benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 0.3 per cent with losses across the board. Worst off were consumer discretionary and information technology stocks, down 0.7 per cent.

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