Asia Markets Mixed; Fed Warns of Recession Risk from Banking Crisis

Shares in Asia were mixed on Thursday following the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting, which showed that its members believe the aftermath of the U.S. banking crisis will certainly tip the economy into recession later this year.

Stocks on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index traded 0.83% lower as of 10.31 A.M. Bangkok time.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite shed 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.25%.

Meanwhile, the Kospi in South Korea climbed 0.10%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also rose marginally.

Stocks on Wall Street closed down overnight. Following the release of the U.S. inflation report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.11%, ending a four-day winning streak. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite had declines of 0.45% and 0.85%, respectively.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.0% in March, slower than a 5.2% year-on-year increase expected by economists. Compared to February, consumer prices climbed 0.1% in March after increasing 0.4% in the previous month, according to the data released by  the Labor Department on Wednesday. 

Energy costs fell 3.5% in March, while flat food index played a great role in March.

Excluding the volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI rose 0.4% and 5.6%, both as expected.

Meanwhile, shelter costs expanded only 0.6%, the smallest gain since November last year, but still resulted in prices rising 8.2% on an annual basis.

The U.S. inflation peaked at 9.1% in June last year, a level not seen since November 1981. It is still far from the Fed’s target of 2.0%.