Asian Shares Up ahead of Fed’s Jackson Hole Event

Asian stock markets were mostly up on Thursday as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole conference for hints on the potential severity of future interest rate hikes. Hong Kong’s morning session was canceled due to tropical storm Ma-on.

As of 9:42 a.m. Thai time, mainland China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.05% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was 0.49% higher. Australia’s S&P/ASX gained 0.77%.

In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.87% following the Bank of Korea raising its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points.

The Federal Reserve’s annual monetary policy conference at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is set to begin on Friday.

According to Tapas Strickland, NAB’s economics director, investors now expect the Fed Funds rate to peak at 3.80% in March 2023, up from 3.62% a short while ago.

The “hawkish reaction” seen by Fed officials in recent weeks “is consistent with market moves at least,” he added.

The Bank of Korea on Tuesday raised the nation’s benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 2.50%. The move was in line with expectations.

This follows a 50 basis point hike in July, the largest since the bank implemented the currency policy system in 1999, and comes as the bank anticipates GDP growth to be “below the May forecast of 2.7%.”