LONDON: Stock markets mostly fell Wednesday as investors took a breather following recent gains, while US senators voted for a controversial tax overhaul which traders expect to boost corporate profits.
Equities have been on a broad upswing since last week when holdout Republican senators said they would back Donald Trump’s signature tax legislation. The president has promised that the changes will fire up an already healthy US economy.
After months of uncertainty, the Senate narrowly passed the deal, which slashes taxes across the board.
The House of Representatives passed the bill on Tuesday, but will have to vote again Wednesday owing to a rules mix-up.
Despite the expected passage of the bill, all three main Wall Street indices ended Tuesday in the red — having clocked up a series of record closes of late.
The weak lead kept both Asia and Europe tethered.
“Success in the tax reform plan now looks assured, after the US Senate passed the measure late last night,” noted IG analyst Chris Beauchamp in London on Wednesday.
“We should hardly be surprised that markets are not exactly going crazy with excitement, since all the fun had been priced in.”
Expectations that the massive reduction in corporate taxes would boost company profits had previously helped fuel a surge in global equities.
In European deals on Wednesday, Frankfurt and London stocks slipped 0.1-percent lower and Paris shed 0.2 percent.
British supermarket Tesco, however, rose 0.3 percent to 206.60 pence as regulators gave the final green light to its £3.7-billion ($4.8-billion, 4.2-billion-euro) takeover of wholesaler Booker.
In Asia, Tokyo and Sydney stock markets each ended up 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong lost 0.1 percent and Shanghai closed down 0.3 percent.—AFP