Asia markets were mixed on Monday, following a strong lead from Wall Street last week as market players looked ahead to fresh economic data, while keeping an eye on the political agenda and especially, on the Republican-backed tax reform bill.
In Australia, the main four bank stocks were down in early hours, with ANZ easing nearly 0.84 percent, Commonwealth Bank falling 0.51 percent, Westpac taking a 1.3 percent loss and the National Australia Bank trading to the downside 0.47 percent.
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No economic data is due for today’s session. Ahead in the week, attention will be directed to a revision of Eurozone’s third-quarter GDP, as well as November services activity data.
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On Saturday, Republicans in the Senate were able to narrowly pass a bill to revise the US tax system. While this represents a step close to Trump-backed tax cuts, the GOP leadership still needs to find common ground in the House and Senate to work out a joint resolution that eventually will get to the President’s desk for final approval.
Expectations of lower taxes have been supporting US stock markets since President Donald Trump got into the White House earlier this year. The tax reform represents a major campaign promise for Trump and in case it cannot be done, Wall Street could face a 3-to-5 percent drop.
However, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates the tax reform bill will be effectively pass within the next two weeks. According to GS, lower taxes would boost the US economy by 0.3 percent.