Asian Shares Trade Mixed as Markets Weigh Risks of Future Rate Hikes

On Thursday, stocks across the Asia-Pacific region fell as investors weighed the likelihood of further rate increases against their return expectations. Fed Governor Christopher Waller is among the many Fed speakers who have stressed the Fed is not done with its raising cycle.

The S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.37% as of 9:21 AM (Thai time), following the announcement that Australia’s largest power producer, AGL Energy, had posted a half-year deficit in its latest monthly earnings. The Nikkei 225 dropped 0.46%. The Kospi in South Korea lost 0.10%.

The Shanghai Composite in mainland China gained 0.80%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 0.67% higher.

Stocks on Wall Street tumbled across the board overnight as investors fretted over corporate profits following poor reports from companies like Chipotle and Lumen Technologies. After Alphabet Inc’s stock plunged 7.7% because its new AI chatbot Bard gave the wrong response in a promotional video, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite all declined.

Fed officials have added to the somber atmosphere by saying that further interest rate hikes are likely as the U.S. central bank continues its attempts to rein in inflation.

The price of crude oil rose for a third straight day on optimism that Chinese markets will reopen. Bond rates have been floating around their highest levels in a month, while the U.S. dollar index has remained over 103.