Asian Stocks Climbed; Worries Mounts on Virus Development in China

Asian stocks climbed despite as a sharp selloff in technology shares and mounting worries that Federal Reserve tightening will plunge the US into recession.

Shares in Mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea climbed higher paring Tuesday’s loss.

The S&P 500 ended down, though off the session’s low helped by gains in utilities and consumer staples.

Chinese stocks will be in focus as the market’s focus on China’s strict Covid policy outweighs broad measures to support growth. China’s central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans in the latest effort to shore up the battered economy. Chinese shares traded in the US tanked.

Money-market traders priced in about 135 basis points of rate increases over the central bank’s next three policy meetings, down from about 141 basis points at Monday’s close.

“The market is moving its focus — and has been for the last month or so — from inflation concerns to growth concerns,” said Ellen Hazen, chief market strategist at FL Putnam as reported by Bloomberg.

Fed Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic, who’s one of the central bank’s dovish policy makers, urged his colleagues to proceed with care. The Fed raised interest rates by 50 basis points earlier this month and Chair Jerome Powell signaled it was on track to make similar-sized moves at its meetings in June and July, a plan that both hawks and doves have since embraced to cool the hottest inflation since the 1980s.

Crude oil climbed with the WTI trading around $100 and Brent trading around $114 a barrel.