Most Asian shares slumped on Wednesday as the prospects of a reduction in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stimulus early next year prompted investors to cash in gains from recent rallies.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.4 percent after earlier hitting its lowest levels in almost two weeks, while Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped 2.2 percent from a six-year closing high set on Tuesday.
That retreat, which came after European shares had suffered their biggest falls since August, stemmed from profit-taking ahead of Friday’s U.S. job data, but also reflected worries about the Fed’s exit from its asset purchase scheme.
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