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Asia markets fall on Fed rate hike concerns; Singapore exports plunge

Asia Pacific markets traded lower on Friday as investors digested more economic data out of the U.S. and more hawkish commentary from the Federal Reserve.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.86% lower at 7,346.8 as Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe reiterated warnings of inflation risks and hinted at further hikes ahead.

In South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.98% lower at 2,451.21 and the Kosdaq fell 1.16% to 775.62, while in Japan, the Nikkei 225 ended the day 0.66% lower 27,513.13 and the Topix shed 0.46% to 1,991.93.

Chinese markets also were traded lower on Friday. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component fell 1.6% to close at 11,715.77, and the Shanghai Composite also was down 0.77% to finish at 3,224.02.

The Hang Seng index and Hang Seng Tech index traded 1.25% and 2.42% lower respectively after the release of its 2022 census and unemployment data on Thursday.

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports fell further by 25% in January on an annualized basis, marking its fourth consecutive month of contraction. The Straits Times index pared earlier losses and traded 0.31% higher. The Singapore dollar weakened 0.27% to 1.34 against the greenback.

Thailand’s gross domestic product for the whole of 2022 grew 2.6%, higher than the 1.6% recorded in 2021. Fourth quarter GDP growth came in at 1.4% on an annualized basis, down from 4.5% the same period a year ago.

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks fell after the U.S. saw its producer price index - a measure of what raw goods fetch on the open market - rise 0.7% for the month, the biggest increase since June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.26%, the S&P 500 dipped 1.38% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.78%.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox, Carmen Reinicke and Sarah Min contributed to this report.

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