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Asian markets, Dow futures drop as Congress fails to pass coronavirus relief

(CNN) — Asian markets and US stock futures fell on Monday as a massive stimulus package to help Americans handle the coronavirus pandemic hit a major stumbling block.

Dow futures fell more than 900 points, hitting a 5% decline that triggered a maximum allowable limit, or “limit down.” That halted futures from falling further.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also fell around 5%, and were last sitting at 4.8% and 4.4%, respectively.

Senate Democrats blocked movement on an economic stimulus package, citing ‘serious issues’ with the bill. That injected fresh uncertainty over whether and when lawmakers will reach a bipartisan deal to deliver relief amid the pandemic.

In Asia Pacific, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 plunged more than 7% Monday while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 4% while China’s Shanghai Composite lost more than 2%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was the outlier, last trading up 0.7%, though trade was choppy. The International Olympic Committee’s executive board said Sunday it is considering postponing — but not canceling — this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the pandemic.

There is pressure to take action: Canada said it won’t be sending teams to the Olympics this summer, and asked for the games to be postponed by one year.

The US dollar, meanwhile, pulled higher against some Asian currencies. It jumped 2.6% against the Korean won and was up 1% against the Australian dollar. It also climbed more than 1% versus the New Zealand dollar.

The greenback fell slightly against the Japanese yen, a traditional safe-haven currency.

Central banks and governments around the world last week announced a wave of stimulus measures aimed at bolstering economies and calming harried financial markets.

But the virus has continued to spread rapidly around the world — there are now more than 325,000 cases worldwide — forcing further travel restrictions, shut downs and disruptions for businesses, and threatening the global economy.

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