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Asian Stocks Down Over China Economic Downturn Concerns -Breaking


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Thursday morning. There were no gains, and the U.S. Federal Reserve recorded a minute from the last meeting. However, the economic impact of China’s ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns was also on investors’ minds.

Japan’s inched down 0.03% by 10:25 PM ET (2:25 AM GMT).

South Korea’s was up 0.40%. It raised its interest rate from 1.5% to 1.75% and made its decision in the early hours of the morning.

In Australia, the was down 0.47% and Hong Kong’s fell 0.88%.

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China’s edged down 0.18% and the slid 1.19%.

Chinese stocks traded in the U.S. gained, even as investors monitor the government’s measures to tackle the economic downturn from the country’s COVID-19 restrictive measures. China’s economy is in some respects faring worse than in 2020 when the pandemic first emerged, according to Premier Li Keqiang. Li also called for efforts to lower the growing unemployment rate.

U.S. futures dropped, while underperforming. After previous losses, the end rebounded to higher levels and tech-heavy ended better.

While benchmark 10-year Treasuries had a steady yield, two-year yields edged upwards.

The Fed minutes did not reveal an additional aggressive route to combat high prices.

Most U.S. policymakers saw half-point rate hikes as appropriate at the next two meetings, keeping in line with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s latest comments.

While the minutes noted the potential for rates to go high enough to constrain the economy, there were hints of a possible pause or an “expedited” tightening, that would leave the Fed “well-positioned later in the year to assess the effects of policy firming and the extent to which economic developments warranted policy adjustments.”

“If inflation gets tame enough over summer, there may not be continued raising of rates,” Pepper International chief executive officer Carol Pepper told Bloomberg.

She added that tech investors should be looking to buy after the market crash.

“Stagflation, I just don’t think that’s going to happen anymore. I think we are going to be in a situation where inflation will start tapering down and then we will start going into a more normalized market.”

However, investors continued to price in 100 basis points of Fed interest rate hikes over the central bank’s next two meetings. The risk of a U.S. recession, added to the ongoing impact of China’s COVID-19 lockdowns and the war in Ukraine, also means that market volatility remains.

The U.S. data will be available later today. A day later, the ; and, will be followed by the ; and, respectively.