Asian stocks were mixed on Friday after a US Federal Reserve official said that US interest rates might have to be raised higher than expected to cool inflation.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.3 percent on Thursday after a Fed official said the US central bank might need to raise its key lending rate as high as almost double its already elevated level to rein in price increases.
Officials had previously said that rates might have to be kept high for an extended period, but traders hoped signs of slowing economic activity might cause the Fed to back off those plans.
Traders worry unusually large rate hikes this year by the Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia to stop inflation that is at multi-decade highs might tip the global economy into recession.
“Fed hawks continued to circle the wagons, repeatedly emphasizing their fight against inflation is far from done,” SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said.
In Taiwan, the TAIEX closed down 30.24 points, or 0.21 percent, at 14,504.99, with turnover totaling NT$236.374 billion (US$7.58 billion). For the week, the index posted a 3.55 percent increase.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.58 percent to 3,097.24, but rose 0.32 percent weekly, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.29 percent to 17,992.54, gaining 3.85 percent on the week.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.11 percent to 27,899.77, losing 1.29 percent from a week earlier, while the broader TOPIX rose 0.04 percent to 1,967.03, posting a weekly decline of 0.54 percent.
In Seoul, the KOSPI was 0.06 percent higher at 2,444.48, but lost 1.56 percent on the week.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.23 percent to 7,151.8, dipping 0.09 percent from a week earlier.
India’s SENSEX lost 0.14 percent to 61,663.48 to end the week 0.21 percent lower.
New Zealand, Jakarta and Bangkok gained while Singapore declined.
Additional reporting by staff writer, with CNA
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