Asian markets fall with Wall St after Fed rate hike, warning

Asian markets fall with Wall St after Fed rate hike, warning

Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell warned about the impact of banking turmoil on the broader economy
Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell warned about the impact of banking turmoil on the broader economy. Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP/File
Source: AFP

PAY ATTENTION: Enjoy reading our stories? Join's Telegram channel for more!

Asian markets skidded Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street after the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates again and dealt a blow to hopes it could cut them later in the year to soothe worries over the banking sector.

Recent turmoil caused by the collapse of two US lenders and the takeover of Credit Suisse had fanned speculation central banks would pause their inflation-fighting monetary tightening campaign.

But on Wednesday, officials announced a ninth straight increase in the cost of borrowing as they put their emphasis on containing prices, though the 25-basis-point rise was half of what was expected at the start of the month.

Fed boss Jerome Powell also told journalists that "rate cuts are not in our base case" and warned that there needed to be more supervision and regulation of banks to prevent another crisis.

Read also

After Fed, Europe's central banks to decide on rates

Speculation had been swirling that officials would announce a cut as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank has been blamed on the impact of more than a year of rate hikes.

However, analysts said the Fed had to walk a thin line as announcing a pause could have fuelled worries there was more to the banking sector's woes than met the eye.

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see News on your News Feed!

Powell added that the crisis in the banking sector was likely to bring "tighter credit conditions for households and businesses".

His comments came as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers that authorities were not looking at a blanket increase in deposit insurance for banks.

"Balancing the Fed's desire to keep its pressure on inflation, and the reality of tightening credit conditions and bank lending appetite, we think the Fed could still deliver one more 25 basis point hike in May," said Tai Hui, of JP Morgan Asset Management.

Read also

US Fed mulls more rate hikes after banking turmoil

"The Fed's policy outlook is not only going to be 'data dependent' on inflation and jobs, but increasingly concerned about the potential stress in the banking sector and repercussions on the broader economy."

After two days of healthy gains, Asian markets were in the red, with Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul Sydney, Singapore, Manila and Wellington all down.

Still, John Bromhead, of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group was upbeat about the outlook.

"I suspect now the major risk event is out of the way, risk-tone can improve through the day," he said.

Oil prices fell back after a recent rise as traders fret over the effect on demand from more rate hikes and a possible slowdown in economic activity.

"Clearly, macro (data) will remain the key driver for price direction in the short term," said ING Groep NV's Warren Patterson.

"Comments from Yellen related to a blanket deposit insurance appear to have put some renewed pressure on risk assets, including oil."

Read also

US Fed mulls more rate hikes amid banking uncertainty

Key figures around 0230 GMT

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.2 percent at 27,400.37 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.3 percent at 19,535.85

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,261.73

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0884 from $1.0860 on Wednesday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2288 from $1.2273

Euro/pound: UP at 88.56 pence from 88.47 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 130.89 yen from 131.38 yen

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.1 percent at $70.10 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.0 percent at $75.90 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.6 percent at 32,030.11 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,566.84 (close)

-- Bloomberg News contributed to this story --

New feature: Сheck out news that is picked for YOU ➡️ click on “Recommended for you” and enjoy!

Source: AFP

Online view pixel