Asian Stocks Mix, Fears of Stagflation Caused by Tightening Policies Grows

  • Stock Market News
Asian Stocks Mix, Fears of Stagflation Caused by Tightening Policies  Grows
Credit: © Reuters.

By Zhang Mengying – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Wednesday morning. U.S. equity markets continued the loss ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to deliver aggressive tightening decisions.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.67% by 10:49 PM ET (2:49 AM GMT).

South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1.21%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.38%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.14%.

Shanghai Composite was up 0.90% while the Shenzhen Component was up 0.49%.

Official data showed on Wednesday that China’s industrial production increased 0.7% in May year-on-year, which is slightly better than market expectations. A 2.9% decline was recorded in April, while forecasts prepared by predicted a drop of 0.7%.

However, as Beijing saw clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks, the Beijing authorities warned on Tuesday that the city was in a “race against time”, adding to worries that the resumption of stringent curbs could hurt its economy and global supply chain.

The S&P 500 closed down for a fifth straight day over fears that tightening decisions from the Fed June meeting to tame red hot inflation could lead to stagflation.

Investors now bet on aggressive interest rate hikes such as 75 basis points from the Fed, the biggest since 1004.

“Inflation is front and center in the news and asset markets, and few are expressing concern about overdoing the pace of tightening,” Steve Englander, head of global G10 FX research at Standard Chartered (OTC: SCBFF ) Bank, wrote in a note.

Treasuries steadied after their worst slump in decades. Two-year yields clawed back after hitting a level last seen in 2007 and the 10-year yields pulled back from near 3.5%.

“The sooner they are going to be clear about how quickly they are going to raise rates and what is an acceptable rate of inflation for them, the sooner markets will calm down,” Wincrest Capital Ltd. chief investment officer Barbara Ann Bernard told Bloomberg.

For other central banks, The Bank of England will hand down its policy decision on Thursday, while the Bank of Japan will hand it down on Friday.

In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin stabilized at around $22,000.

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