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European, Asian Stocks Falter Amid Political Worries

  • Jim Randle

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, May 18, 2017.

Stock markets in Europe and Asia declined Thursday, a day after U.S. stocks, the dollar and U.S. government bonds were down amid investor worries about controversial actions and comments from President Donald Trump.

The major U.S. stock indexes fell 1.8 percent or more on Wednesday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 372 points.

The faltering markets follow Trump's firing of the FBI chief, Trump reportedly sharing secrets with top Russian officials, and allegations that the president may have tried to block an investigation into actions by a top aide who was fired.

Traders work in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, May 18, 2017.
Traders work in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, May 18, 2017.

The dollar rose, and stocks had risen to a series of record highs after Trump's election, as investors bet that his promises to cut taxes and regulation would boost economic growth and corporate profits.

Investors may have second thoughts, though, after legislative efforts to repeal and replace a health care law stalled, and the tax cut agenda is tangled in political bickering.

Even Trump's Republican allies say calls for congressional and other investigations of the administration's actions are a distraction and a worry for lawmakers trying to move his agenda forward against determined opposition from Democrats.

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