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Focus on US Russia probe, lower close on Wall Street

In the currency markets, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, traded around its lowest since November.

The dollar index was at 97.438 at 7:13 a.m. HK/SIN, off levels over 98 on Wednesday and down from levels over 99 last week.

The greenback had climbed after the November election, in part on expectations that parts of Trump’s proposed policies would be reflationary, which would spur interest rates higher and drive dollar inflows.

The market appeared to be unwinding that expectation.

“Everyone, including us, has proclaimed that the economic fundamentals are so good that the markets can withstand a political crisis. But an impeachment fight is another story – it would be demoralizing, not good for consumer confidence, and an enormous source of uncertainty for investors, who hate uncertainty,” Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, said in a note on Wednesday. “This is a deadly serious crisis.”

Stocks in the U.S. finished lower following the latest headlines from Washington, with major indexes recording their worst sessions since last September. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.78 percent or 372.82 points to finish at 20,606.93, the S&P 500 tumbled 1.82 percent or 43.64 points to close at 2,357.03 and the Nasdaq dropped 2.57 percent or 158.63 to close finish at 6,011.24.

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