Asian stocks mixed after Wall St falls on rate hike worries

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ASIAN stock markets were mixed Monday, January 10, 2022 after Wall Street fell on worries the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as March.

Shanghai and Hong Kong advanced. Seoul and Sydney declined. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Investors were rattled last week after notes from the latest Fed meeting showed officials thought the US job market is healthy enough that it might no longer need ultra-low interest rates and other stimulus.

That was reinforced by US employment numbers Friday, January 7, that showed stronger-than-expected wages, though with only about half as much hiring as forecast.

The prospect of earlier rate hikes “suggests that markets could continue to be roiled by volatility,” Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 3,587.03 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.7 percent to 23,658.91.

The Kospi in Seoul fell one percent to 2,926.72 and Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 lost 0.1 percent to 7,447.10.

India’s Sensex added 0.5 percent to 60,046.96. Bangkok was flat, New Zealand declined and Singapore and Jakarta advanced.

Investors were cautious after Fed officials said in December that plans to roll back ultra-low rates and other economic stimulus that has boosted share prices might be accelerated to cool US inflation now at a four-decade high. (AP)

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