Asian shares decline after Fed raises rates and signals more hikes ahead

Asian markets declined early on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, a widely expected move, and indicated two more rate hikes were likely in 2018.

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.73 percent, reversing the slight gains notched by the benchmark in the last session. Mining stocks fell more than 2 percent as most other sectors declined, although shippers clung to gains.

In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.76 percent in early trade. Technology stocks were a mixed picture in the morning, with Samsung Electronics dropping 0.91 percent.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.17 percent, weighed down by the 0.59 percent decline in the heavily weighted financials subindex. Utilities stocks fell 1.21 percent after jumping in the previous session.

MSCI’s index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan traded lower by 0.27 percent in the morning.

The Federal Reserve raised rates by 25 basis points and signaled two additional rate hikes later in the year. Wednesday’s interest rate hike pushed up the funds rate target to 1.75 percent to 2 percent. The central bank’s first rate hike this year took place in March.

U.S. stocks ended lower after the Fed raised interest rates, with the Dow Jones industrial average declining 0.47 percent, or 119.53 points, to close at 25,201.20.

U.S. Treasury yields rose on the back of the Fed’s move, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note crossing the 3 percent level, before later receding a bit. The two-year Treasury note yield, meanwhile, hit its highest level since 2008 in the last session.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose as high as 94.028 on Wednesday, before easing to last trade at 93.482.

Trade tensions, which had recently yielded some of the spotlight to nuclear negotiations, could return to the fore. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with members of his administration to make a decision on whether or not to activate billions in tariffs on Chinese imports, Reuters reported, citing a source.

Here’s the economic calendar for Thursday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 9:30 a.m.: Australia employment data
  • 10:00 a.m.: China fixed asset investment, industrial production and retail sales

Free America Network Articles

Leave a Comment