Asian Shares Retreat On US Rate Hike Worries

Asian stocks traded lower on Friday as rate hike and recession worries rattled investors.

Tech stocks led losses after chipmaker Micron Technology unveiled a dismal outlook for the current quarter and new data showing a resilient U.S. economy revived worries about the Federal Reserve’s attempts to battle inflation.

The Japanese yen was marginally lower against the dollar while gold traded flat after having fallen more than 1 percent on Thursday. Oil rose over 1 percent in Asian trade after snapping a three-day winning streak in the previous session.

China’s Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.3 percent as a new analysis revealed the country is likely experiencing 1 million COVID infections and 5,000 virus deaths every day. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was also down 0.3 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei index fell 1.2 percent after data showed core consumer inflation in the country hit a fresh 40-year high of 3.7 percent in November.

Minutes of the BOJ’s October policy meeting released today showed that some policymakers called for the need to continue checking how a future exit from ultra-low interest rates could affect markets and households’ mortgage rates.

Seoul stocks tumbled, with the Kospi average down 1.7 percent, tracking steep losses on Wall Street overnight on expectations of further rate hikes in the United States.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.8 percent and New Zealand’s NZX-50 index dropped 0.3 percent.

U.S. stocks fell sharply overnight and the dollar rose, as signs of a tight labor market and an upward revision to the U.S. Q3 growth rate heightened expectations of further Fed tightening.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite tumbled 2.2 percent to its lowest closing level in well over a month, while the Dow dropped 1.1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 1.5 percent.

European stocks closed lower on Thursday as data showed U.K. GDP shrank more than initial estimated in the third quarter.

The pan European STOXX 600 declined 1 percent. The German DAX lost 1.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 index tumbled 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 eased 0.4 percent.

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