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Asian Shares Ease from Record High

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Asian shares retreated from a record peak on Monday after a Reuters report the United States was preparing to impose sanctions on some Chinese officials highlighted geopolitical tensions, while oil prices fell on surging virus cases.

In a signal markets elsewhere would start weaker, eurostoxx 50 futures were 0.4 down, futures for Germanys DAX eased 0.3 while those of Londons FTSE were flat. EMini futures for the SP 500 slipped 0.2.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan fell 0.1 following four straight sessions of gains. The index hit a record high of 644.3 points early on Monday.

It is up about 16 so far this year, the best since a 33 jump in 2017.

Chinas bluechip index dropped 0.8, largely ignoring strong export data, while Hong Kongs Hang Seng was down 1.7.

Japans Nikkei declined 0.46 while Australian shares were up 0.6.

The selloff began after Reuters exclusively reported, citing sources, that the United States was preparing sanctions on at least a dozen Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijings disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.

The move comes as President Donald Trumps administration keeps up pressure on Beijing in his final weeks in office.

One thing that the market has been concerned about is that on his way out of office Trump would look for some retribution on China. So this news speaks to that fear, said Kyle Rodda, market strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne.

At the end of the day, the…

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