Asia’s Markets: Fed Jitters Fuel Week’s Losses, But Japan Surprises


Asia-Pacific stock markets hit a snag on Friday, echoing the downtrend on Wall Street as investors grappled with fears of lingering inflation and a hawkish stance from top central bankers.

In a contrasting move, oil prices continued their upward trajectory, with WTI crude breaching the mark and Brent crude hitting a six-month high of .65.

Later today, S&P is set to release its business activity data for Hong Kong, while the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will unveil its highly anticipated rate decision. A Reuters survey predicts that the RBI will keep its key lending rate steady at 6.5%.

S&P/ASX 200 stumbled 0.44% at market open.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 took a 1.59% plunge after briefly surpassing 40,000 on Thursday, while the broader Topix index shed 1.15%.

South Korea’s Kospi reversed its recent gains and fell 0.79%, dragging down the small cap Kosdaq by 0.84%.

However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is poised for a modest recovery as trading resumes after a public holiday, with futures indicating a rise.

Image: A customer in front of a drugstore in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022.

Soichiro Koriyama | Bloomberg | Getty Images