Major US equity indices slumped during opening trade on Wednesday, weighed down by latest political turmoil in the US.
The New York Times reported that the US President Donald Trump in February asked then-Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey to stop investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The news followed earlier report that Trump shared classified information with top Russian officials at a meeting last week and triggered a fresh wave of global risk-aversion trade. Lack of appetite for riskier assets is further reaffirmed by a sharp spike in the Volatility Index (VIX) and notable demand for traditional safe-haven assets – like treasuries, gold and Yen.
The latest development was also seen raising question if Trump would pursue with his proposed pro-growth economic policies, which had been the key factor for the markets’ recent up-surge to record high levels.
At the time of reporting, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 170-points to 20,809, while the broader S&P 500 Index plunged nearly 20-points to 2,382. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index declined 53-points to 6.117.