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Japan Q1 GDP, China property prices

This time, the day’s big Trump-Russia-Comey news waited until around 6:00 to break.

Former FBI director Robert Mueller has been selected by the US Justice Department to serve as special counsel to oversee the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Rod Rosenstein, the US deputy attorney general, said on Wednesday that he had determined it was in the “public interest” to appoint a special counsel to oversee the probe.

The announcement comes amid a growing chorus of demands from Congress to see evidence relating to claims that Mr Trump attempted to halt an FBI investigation into alleged links between his campaign aides and Russian officials.

On Wall Street the S&P 500 suffered its biggest one-day drop in eight months as controversies surrounding the Trump administration fuelled a new wave of risk aversion, and the dollar slid to a six-month low. Oil also gained ground after new US inventories data.

That sentiment is seeping into pre-market movements in Asia Pacific equities, where futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index to drop 1.1 per cent at the open, Tokyo’s Topix is set to drop 1.5 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is set to fall 0.6 per cent when trading begins.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Singapore Airlines, James Hardie and – in New York – Alibaba.

The economic calendar for Thursday has got this, don’t worry about it (all times Hong Kong):

  • 07.50: Japan Q1 GDP
  • 09.30: Australia unemployment rate
  • 09.30: China property prices
  • 10.00: Philippines Q1 GDP
  • Bank Indonesia is also expected to announce its interest rates decision today.

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