Australia’s prime minister on Thursday called a May 18 election that will be fought on issues including climate change, asylum seekers and economic management.
Morrison’s conservative coalition is seeking a third three-year term. But Morrison is the third prime minister to lead a divided government in that time and only took the helm in late August.
Opinion polls suggest his reign will become one of the shortest in the 118-year history of Australian prime ministers on election day. The polls suggest center-left opposition leader Bill Shorten will become the eighth prime minister since the country plunged into an extraordinary period of political instability in 2007.
Australian stocks AU:XJO were falling in early Thursday trading, with the S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.36% off 0.4%.
Stocks in Japan and South Korea have started little changed following a directionless day regionally yesterday and overnight gains in the U.S. Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.19% is up 0.1% as it looks at a 10th-straight gain while Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.12% is flat. But New Zealand equities are finally rebounding, with the NZX-50 NZ50GR, +0.43% up 0.6% following 6-straight declines.
Chinese stocks are generally lower amid fresh softness in Asia and even as March’s inflation generally rose as expected in the country. Shenzhen 399106, -1.73% indexes are down about 0.25% while the large-cap CSI 300 is off a bit less. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -1.36% , meanwhile, is little changed. Electric-vehicle makers are solid earlier amid a new subsidy policy while alcoholic-beverage makers are broadly retreating after recent strength.
This story was compiled from Associated Press and Dow Jones Newswires reports
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