Asian Shares Mixed On U.S. Rate Hike Fears

asianmarket 021219 15sep22 lt

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Thursday, as investors assessed the impact of large interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve on global growth.

The European gas crisis, high inflation and the pace of global monetary policy tightening are taking a heavy toll on economic prospects, rating agency Fitch said while slashing its global GDP forecast to 2.4 percent in 2022 and 1.7 percent in 2023.

The dollar was firm and bond yields rose ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting, while oil prices edged lower in Asian trading.

China's Shanghai Composite Index slumped 1.2 percent to 3,199.92 after the country's central bank kept its key policy rate unchanged.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 percent to 18,930.98 after the Chinese megacity of Chengdu eased lockdown restrictions in some areas. Property developers rallied amid signs of relaxation measures to boost the embattled sector.

Japanese shares edged up slightly as the yen returned to a downward path despite caution over possible yen-buying intervention by Japanese monetary authorities.

The Nikkei 225 Index inched up 0.2 percent to 27,875.91, while the broader Topix closed 0.2 percent higher at 1,950.43. Technology and tourism-relates shares led the uptick, with Tokyo Electron, Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings climbing 1-2 percent.

Seoul stocks closed lower for a second day running on concerns that U.S. inflation is entering a more stubborn, entrenched phase and that the Fed fund rate would peak at about 4.4 percent next year. The Kospi dropped 0.4 percent to 2,401.83.

Biotech and IT stocks were among the biggest decliners. Samsung Biologics slid 2.5 percent and Samsung Electronics shed 1.4 percent.

Australian stocks eked out modest gains as solid jobs data supported the case for the Reserve Bank to keep up its pace of monetary tightening.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index edged up 0.2 percent to 6,842.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 0.2 percent higher at 7,082.50.

Higher crude prices lifted energy socks, with Woodside Energy and Santos rallying 4.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. The big four banks rose 1-3 percent.

Lithium developer Lake Resources plummeted 12.7 percent amid news of a disagreement between the company and its Kachi Project partner.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index finished marginally higher at 11,658.94 as second quarter GDP beat expectations.

U.S. stocks eked out modest gains overnight after a market rout the previous day on Fed worries.

A measure of producer prices fell for a second straight month in August, helping stocks recover from their worst sell-off in more than two years.

The Dow finished marginally higher, the S&P 00 rose 0.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.7 percent.

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