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Asia Markets: Kospi slides, erasing week’s gains as Asian markets pull back

Geopolitics helped prompt profit-taking in Asian shares Thursday following this week’s strength.

As expected, President Donald Trump signed a bill on Wednesday that imposed fresh sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran even as he expressed concern that the “seriously flawed” legislation “will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together.”

South Korean stocks SEU, -1.46% led the way lower. They have shown repeated ability this year to shrug off North Korean provocations, including its string of missile launches. Coming into Thursday, the Kospi was one of the region’s best-performing indexes, rising 20% and topping highs set in 2011.

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