Asia stocks fall after Fed says more US rate hikes likely
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets tumbled Thursday after the Federal Reserve added to recession fears by saying it wasn’t finished raising U.S. interest rates to cool inflation.
Hong Kong’s benchmark lost 3.1%. Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney also followed Wall Street lower after the Fed on Wednesday raised its key rate to the highest level in 15 years.
Oil prices declined while the euro stayed below 99 cents.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index plunged 2.5% after the Fed raised its short-term lending rate by 0.75 percentage points, three times its usual margin, for a fourth time this year.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell reinforced expectations of more rate hikes, saying “we have a ways to go.” He said it would be “very premature” to consider pausing.
“Recession risks are rising, but that is the price the Fed is prepared to pay to get inflation under control,” said James Knightley, Padhraic Garvey and Chris Turner of ING in a report.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 488 points to 15,338.85 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 1.9% to 6,855.40.
The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2% to 2,997.46. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.
The Kospi in Seoul declined 0.6% to 2,322.11. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also fell.
The Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia have raised rates aggressively this year to stop inflation that is running at multi-decade highs. Investors worry that might tip the global economy into recession.
Consumer prices in the United States rose 6.2% over a year earlier in September, the same as the previous month. But core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices to give a clearer picture of the trend, accelerated to 5.1% from August’s 4.9%.
The Fed said Wednesday it could shift to a more deliberate pace of rate hikes and would consider the overall economic impact.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 3,759.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.5% to 32,147.76. The Nasdaq composite slid 3.4% to 10,524.80.
Tech stocks, retailers and health care companies were among the biggest declines.
Apple, Inc. fell 3.7%, Amazon.com, Inc. dropped 4.8% and Johnson & Johnson, Inc. slipped 1.5%.
The yield on the two-year Treasury, an indicator of market expectations of Fed action, rose to 4.58% from 4.55% before the Fed statement. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, used to set mortgage rates, climbed to 4.10% from 3.98%.
Investors hope signs housing sales and other activity are weakening might encourage Fed officials to ease rate hike plans. But the latest data, especially on hiring, are relatively strong, a sign the Fed might stay aggressive.
Data from payroll processor ADP showed companies added jobs at a faster pace in October than expected.
The government is due to release unemployment data Thursday and a report on the broader jobs market on Friday.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 43 cents to $89.57 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.63 to $90 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, shed 27 cents to $95.89 per barrel in London. It rose $1.51 the previous session to $96.16 a barrel.
The dollar gained to 147.33 yen from Wednesday’s 146.94 yen. The euro declined to 98.26 cents from 98.83 cents.
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