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Monday, September 26, 2022
Stocks & Shares

Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street falls

Wall Street

Shanghai and Hong Kong fell while Tokyo and South Korea advanced

Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday after Wall Street fell following last week’s Federal Reserve pledge to fight inflation by keeping interest rates elevated.

Shanghai and Hong Kong fell while Tokyo and South Korea advanced.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.7% on Monday, adding to last week’s losses.

Stocks tumbled after Fed chair Jerome Powell indicated Friday the U.S. central bank will stick to a strategy of rate hikes to cool inflation that is at multi-decade highs. That appeared to quiet speculation the Fed might ease off due to signs economic activity is cooling.

‘Markets are still digesting Jay Powell’s hard-hitting message on inflation’ while the European Central Bank also is giving ‘more hawkish’ signals, said Venkateswaran Lavanya of Mizuho Bank in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5% to 3,225.10 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong tumbled 0.9% to 19,851.86.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 1.2% to 28,217.36 after the official unemployment rate for July held steady and the labour participation rate, or the share of the working-age population that is in jobs, stayed at a record high.

The Kospi in Seoul added 1% to 2,450.71 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.7% to 7,013.40.

India’s Sensex opened up 1.1% at 58,609.22. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also advanced.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell to 4,030.61. On Friday, the benchmark index lost 3.4% in its biggest one-day drop in two months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.6% to 32,098.99. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 1% to 12,017.67.

Selling was widespread. Tech and health care stocks were the biggest decliners. Energy and utilities stocks rose.

Investors worry rate hikes by the Fed and by central banks in Europe and Asia might derail global economic growth.

Fed officials point to a strong U.S. job market as evidence the biggest global economy can tolerate higher borrowing costs. Some acknowledge a recession is possible but say that might be necessary to extinguish surging inflation.

The Fed has raised interest rates four times this year. The latest two were by 0.75 percentage points, three times its usual margin.

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