Asian stocks mixed after Wall St stabilizes amid rate fears News-thread


BEIJING– Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday after Wall Street steadied following a slide on concerns over more US interest rate hikes.

Shanghai and Seoul declined. Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced. Oil prices fell.

Wall Street S BenchmarkThe &P 500 index recovered some of the previous day’s losses after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that rate hikes could accelerate because upward price pressure is stronger than expected.

Investors worry that the Fed and other central banks seem increasingly willing to steer the world economy into at least a brief recession to quench stubborn inflation. US inflation rose in January to 5.4%, well above the Fed’s target of 2%.

“The risks of a trajectory of higher and faster gains have increased,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a report. He said the Fed may be motivated by “growing criticism” that it “has fallen behind the inflation curve.”

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,277.13 after Chinese inflation slowed in February to 1% a year earlier from 2.5% a month earlier. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3% to 20,110.28.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% to 28,616.03 after the government cut its estimate for economic growth in the three months ending in December to 0.1% from a previous estimate of 0.6%. .

The Kospi fell 0.4% to 2,422.31 and the Sydney S&P-ASX 200 rose less than 0.1% to 7,311.10.

India’s Sensex opened 0.2% lower at 60,197.90. New Zealand and Singapore fell, while Jakarta and Bangkok rose.

On Wall Street, the SThe &P 500 rose 0.1% on Wednesday to 3,992.01.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 58.06, or 0.2%, to 32,798.40, while the Nasdaq composite added 45.67, or 0.4%, to 11,576.00.

Powell said Fed policymakers want to see more data before deciding on future rate hikes.

A report on Wednesday showed that the number of job openings posted across the country last month was higher than expected. Traders scrutinize that data for clues about wages, a factor the Fed looks at when trying to forecast inflation.

The report also showed some signs of lessening pressure, including fewer Americans quitting their jobs.

A separate report on Wednesday suggested that hiring is even stronger than expected among US private employers.

The US government’s most comprehensive monthly report on hiring will be released on Friday.

Other data showed strong US consumer spending, another factor that could worry policymakers about rising prices.

Expectations of a firmer Fed have been clearest in the bond market, where yields have soared.

The 10-year Treasury yield, or the difference between its market price and the payment at maturity, rose to 3.98% from 3.97% Tuesday night.

The two-year Treasury yield rose to 5.05% from 5.02%. It is close to its highest level since 2007.

Yields on shorter-term Treasury bonds are ahead of higher-yielding Treasury bonds in the future. Wall Street sees it as a fairly reliable indicator of an impending recession.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude gained 4 cents to $76.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 92 cents on Wednesday to $76.66. Brent crude, the base price for international oil trade, rose 4 cents to $82.70 a barrel in London. It fell 63 cents the previous session to $82.66.

The dollar fell to 136.81 yen from 137.24 yen on Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.0554 from $1.0545.


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