HONG KONG — Asian shares slipped Thursday as investors digested the scant details of President Donald Trump’s U.S. tax overhaul, and economic and corporate reports. Investors also were awaiting a policy statement from the Bank of Japan that’s expected to provide fresh insights into the state of Asia’s second-biggest economy.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.2 percent to 19,243.76 while South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.3 percent to 2,201.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.1 percent to 24,565.60 and the Shanghai Composite index in mainland China fell 0.4 percent to 3,128.42. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up a fraction to 5,914.00. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia slipped.
TRUMP ON TAX: The White House unveiled the broad outlines of Trump’s tax plan while leaving out many of the details. Officials said they hoped to slash corporate taxes to 15 percent from 35 percent, but specifics are still to be negotiated. Stocks have been lifted by investor anticipation of big tax cuts as well as Trump’s vow to cut red tape for businesses. But based on the few specifics spelled out so far, most experts suggested the plan would add little to growth while swelling the budget deficit and potentially handing large windfalls to wealthier taxpayers.
QUOTEWORTHY: “As expected, the Trump administration rolled out the tax reform roadshow on Wednesday,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA. “Given the market’s lofty expectations, traders are viewing it as little more than a road map, rather than the much ballyhooed ‘big announcement,’ because the statement did not provide any comprehensive details.”
The Washington Post