By the break Tokyo had plunged 1.4 percent, while Hong Kong shed 0.4 percent, Sydney dived 1.3 percent, Seoul was 0.5 percent off and Singapore gave up 0.4 percent. Shanghai lost 0.2 percent, Wellington 0.7 percent and Taipei 0.6 percent.
There were also heavy losses in Manila and Jakarta.
“There is a very high level of uncertainty oozing from the markets but one thing that is crystal clear, investors now believe that at a minimum the rising US political entropy will jeopardise the White House policy agenda, and at the extreme, a Trump impeachment will lead to a flat out market collapse,” said OANDA senior trader Stephen Innes.
The uncertainty fanned a flight to safe assets, sending the yen and gold rallying, while the VIX gauge of volatility — also known as the fear index — soared 50 percent.
The dollar tumbled as dealers began to reconsider the chances of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike next month, which had been widely expected.
In Asian trade the greenback sank below 111 yen for the first time since the end of April, while the euro — itself buoyed by easing uncertainty in the EU and a pick-up in eurozone economic fortunes — continued to levels not seen since Trump’s election win.
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