Stock Market

Asian Stock Markets Mostly Close Down as Investors Worry about Fed Raising Interest Rates

Most Asian stock markets closed down on Thursday, March 2, as investors are concerned about the possibility of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raising interest rates. This comes after the Nasdaq index closed lower overnight, triggering a sell-off in tech stocks.

Tokyo’s Nikkei closed down at 27,498.87, a decrease of 17.66 points or 0.06%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7,255.40 points, up 3.80 points or 0.05%, while All Ordinaries closed at 7,460.00 points, up 3.90 points or 0.05%. However, the fall in banking stocks dampened the market’s gains.

The South Korean Composite Index (KOSPI) ended up at 2,427.85 points, up 15 points or 0.62%, following data that showed China’s economy is recovering, driving investors to buy risky assets.

Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite closed slightly lower at 3,310.65, down 1.69 points or 0.05%, as investors sold their shares to profit after the market closed sharply higher yesterday. Investors are still concerned about the tensions between China and the United States.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed at 20,429.46, down 190.25 points or 0.92%, as investors turned anxious after Federal Reserve officials signaled that it would continue to raise interest rates to stem inflation.

In Thailand, The SET dropped to 1,612.64 points, a decrease of 7.34 points or 0.45%, pressured by Thai exports in January, which contracted by 4.5%, higher than the market’s expectation of 1.4 to 1.8%. This reinforces the picture of the trade deficit that is likely to accelerate again.

Investors in Asia remain cautious amid the uncertainty about the Fed’s next move on interest rates. This uncertainty is expected to continue until the Fed’s next policy meeting in mid-March.

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