Asia Stocks Retreat Amid Trump Turmoil; Tata Steel Surges

  • Australia, Japan lead declines as financial stocks tumble
  • Meitu slumps as MSCI reverses decision on index inclusion

Caution Reigns as U.S. Politics Takes Center Stage

Asian shares fell for the first time in three sessions amid growing concerns over political turmoil in Washington. Indian equities bucked the trend as Tata Steel surged, while Australia’s benchmark index dropped on financial sector weakness.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index declined 0.3 percent as of 5:18 p.m. in Hong Kong. The ASX 200 dropped to its lowest level in seven weeks. Shares in Shanghai fell while in Shenzhen, they closed higher. Tata Steel led gains on India’s Sensex Index, rising 8.2 percent, after the company struck a deal with a U.K. pension fund, bringing it closer to a possible joint venture in Europe.

MSCI said that Meitu Inc. will no longer be included in its global indexes after yesterday saying the stock would be added. Shares in the maker of China’s most popular beauty-enhancing selfie app dropped as much as 10 percent and closed at a three-month low.

Australia’s finance index, which accounts for more than a third of the benchmark’s weighting, retreated to a three-month low amid a report banks may face an inquiry into fees and rates, and data showing health insurance margins narrowed sharply.

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