Most Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Down as Fed Expects More Rate Hikes

Most Asian markets on Thursday followed Wall Street downwards after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell remained committed to his plan of raising interest rates in order to rein in inflation.

As of 9.25 A.M. Bangkok time, the Nikkei 225 in Japan dipped 0.27%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.38%, extending its losses from Wednesday.

South Korea’s Kospi, meanwhile, was up 0.44%.

Markets in Hong Kong and mainland China are closed for a holiday Thursday.

Overnight in the United States, all three major indices dropped for a third consecutive day, with the Nasdaq Composite falling by the most, 1.21%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.3%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.52%.

During his semi-annual testimony to Congress, Powell told lawmakers that two more rate hikes this year were a “pretty good guess.” 

“Nearly all FOMC participants expect that it will be appropriate to raise interest rates somewhat further by the end of the year,” Powell said before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. 

Separately, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said he was in favor of maintaining the current target rate but added that the “bar to justify further rate hikes is higher than it was a few months ago.” When asked about last week’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged, Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee called it a “close call.”