Asian stock markets witnessed a significant downturn, driven by escalating concerns over rising US bond yields and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at 17,172.13 points, marking a loss of 123.76 points, or a decrease of -0.72%. This decline was triggered by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s signal that the Fed might consider further interest rate hikes should the strong economy persist and labor market conditions remain tight.
The South Korean Stock Exchange Composite (KOSPI) experienced a substantial negative shift, closing at 2,375.00 points, down by 40.8 points, representing a considerable -1.69% drop. The KOSPI’s dip of more than 1% resulted in the index reaching its lowest level in over seven months. Investor apprehension grew as the Federal Reserve hinted at potential interest rate adjustments, leading to a strengthening of the South Korean won against the US dollar.
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index concluded at 2,983.06 points, experiencing a loss of 22.33 points or -0.74%. Investor sentiment in the Chinese market was marred by concerns surrounding the ongoing crisis in China’s real estate sector. These concerns obscured the positive aspects of China’s attempts to implement various policies aimed at restoring market confidence.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Nikkei Index closed negatively at 31,259.36 points, down 171.26 points or -0.54%. The Federal Reserve’s anticipated interest rate hike prompted investor worries about potential surges in borrowing costs in the United States.
Australia’s financial markets were not immune to the regional trend, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing at 6,900.70 points, down 80.90 points or -1.16%. The All Ordinaries Index also closed in the negative, at 7,089.70 points, experiencing a loss of 83.00 points or -1.16%. These adjustments aligned with the broader sentiment of Asian markets, which weakened during the day due to growing concerns about Middle East tensions and signals of impending interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve.