Asian markets looked set to track losses seen on Wall Street overnight following the sacking of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and amid talk of potential U.S. tariffs against China.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 171.58 points, or 0.68 percent, at 25,007.03 and the S&P 500 shed 0.64 percent to end at 2,765.31. The Nasdaq composite recorded sharper losses, finishing the session down 1.02 percent at 7,511.01 and snapping a seven-day winning streak.
“[Tillerson’s] departure has left some worrying that it provides a green light to those in office pushing for more protectionist measures,” said ANZ Research analysts in an early morning note.
Trump said that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would take on the role.
Stocks stateside had initially traded higher early in the session after the release of inflation data. Consumer prices rose 0.2 percent last month, meeting forecasts and easing concerns about tighter monetary policy due to inflationary pressures.
Also in focus was news that the Trump administration was looking into a tough trade package, which could include indefinite tariffs and investment restrictions, against China. Trump could impose tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese goods, Reuters reported, citing a source.