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Asian markets tracked Wall Street lower on Thursday after Donald Trump’s tax reform proposals failed to excite investors.
The S&P 500 closed down 0.1 per cent lower on Wednesday after Mr Trump laid out plans for a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent and offered a one-time cut-rate tax on overseas profits to encourage companies to repatriate profits held outside the US.
In Asia, Japan’s Topix index was off 0.1 per cent with Tokyo-based messaging app Line falling as much as much as 10.1 per cent after the company reported operating profit missed estimates putting it among today’s worst performers on the index.
In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 was flat with the energy sector seeing the biggest fall down 2.3 per cent as Santos and Origin Energy tumbled after Australia announcd gas export restrictions today. Santos fell as much as 7.7 per cent and Origin fell as much as 3.6 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.1 per cent with a single bright spot from the financial sector, which was up 0.3 per cent as insurer AIA jumped as much as 5.4 per cent after reporting a 53 per cent year on year jump in new business for the first quarter.
The Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite were down 0.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.
Oil prices fell following the release of data from the Energy Information Administration which showed US inventories of crude fell by a larger than expected 3.6m barrels in the week ended April 21. Analysts are looking for further signs Opec’s production cuts are finally having a tightening effect on the market.
International benchmark Brent was down 0.3 per cent at $51.69 a barrel, while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 0.4 per cent to $49.42 a barrel.
Gold was 0.2 per cent weaker at $1,266.30 per troy ounce.