Asian stocks follow Wall St lower after Fed rate signal

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BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower on Thursday after investors saw minutes of a Federal Reserve meeting as a sign the US central bank could raise interest rates faster to calm inflation.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney fell. Oil prices have fallen.

On Wednesday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 fell from its highest daily margin in four months.

Notes released Thursday at the Fed’s meeting last month showed policymakers believe the U.S. labor market is almost healthy enough that ultra-low interest rates are no longer necessary. Traders took this as a sign that the Fed could be more aggressive in reversing the stimulus measures that are pushing stock prices up.

The report “pummeled the markets” by upsetting expectations that the Fed’s earlier plans were stalled, Mizuho Bank’s Vishnu Varathan said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2% to 3,587.19 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 2.7% to 28,553.02. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.6% to 22,779.58.

Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.8% to 2,928.78 and Sydney’s S & P-ASX 200 fell 2.7% to 7,358.30.

India’s Sensex index opened down 1.4% to 59,355.63. New Zealand, Bangkok and Jakarta fell while Singapore won.

The Fed indicated in mid-December that plans to cut stimulus would be accelerated after US consumer inflation hit a 39-year high.

It shook investors who had been encouraged by rising corporate profits and the spread of coronavirus vaccinations. Despite this, the S&P 500 ended 2021 with an annual gain of 26.9%.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 slipped 1.9% on Wednesday to 4,700.58.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1% to 36,407.11, falling from the previous day’s record. The Nasdaq composite fell 3.3% to 15,100.17 in its largest single-day decline in 11 months.

Bond yields, or the difference between today’s market price and payment at maturity, widened after the Fed notes came out.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill, the benchmark for fixing rates on mortgages and other loans, fell from 1.68% to 1.70%.

The Fed minutes showed policymakers worried that inflation would spread to more areas of the economy and last longer than expected. They discussed the possible need to raise short-term interest rates at a faster rate and allow bond purchases that pump money into the financial system to decline more quickly.

Four out of five S&P 500 stocks fell. Tech companies have been the biggest drag in the market. Microsoft fell 3.8% and software maker Adobe lost 7.1%.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude lost $ 1.09 to $ 76.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 86 cents to $ 77.85 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the basis of international oil prices, sank from $ 1.15 to $ 79.65 a barrel in London. It rose 80 cents from the previous session to $ 80.80.

The dollar fell to 115.87 yen from 116.16 yen on Wednesday. The euro was little changed at $ 1.1312.

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