Asian Stocks Slump on Rate Hike Fears after US Strong Labor Market Report

On Monday, stock markets across Asia-Pacific opened lower, led by Hong Kong, as investors fretted over the effects of tightening monetary policy following strong labor market data that reinforced expectations for more aggressive interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve.

As of 9.27 a.m. Thai time, the Hang Seng index fell 2.31%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.22% on its return to trade after the Golden Week holiday. The S&P/ASX 200 was 1.56% lower.

Markets in Japan and South Korea are closed for holidays Monday.

On Friday, major stock indexes in the United States fell more than 2% after data showed that the unemployment rate fell in September, raising concerns that the Fed would continue to raise interest rates aggressively.

The September unemployment rate declined to 3.5% from 3.7% in August, owing to people leaving the labor force, according to the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report released on Friday. It also revealed that the number of people in the US working part-time due to financial concerns fell last month. Despite the Fed’s harsh interest rate hikes, the job market has shown resilience and has continued to show signs of improvement.