Asian markets fell silent after Fed suggested it was ready to act on inflation

BEIJING – Asian stock markets fell on Thursday after Federal Reserve officials said they were prepared to hike interest rates earlier than expected if needed to calm inflation.

The Shanghai SHCOMP Composite Index,
fell 0.1% while the Nikkei 225 NIK,
+ 0.76%
in Tokyo gained 0.8%. The Hang Seng HSI,
+ 0.12%
in Hong Kong gained 0.1%.

The Kospi 180721,
in Seoul fell 0.4% and Sydney’s S & P / ASX 200 XJO,
+ 0.10%
advanced 0.1%. Shares fell in Singapore STI,
but won in Indonesia JAKIDX,
+ 0.55%,
while Taiwan Y9999,
+ 0.04%
and Malaysia FBMKLCI,
were pretty much flat.

Wall Street markets are closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They reopen Friday for a shortened trading session.

Fed officials at their October policy meeting said they “would not hesitate” to respond to inflation, according to notes released Wednesday. They foresaw the possibility of increasing rates “sooner than participants currently anticipate.”

This has fueled investor fears that the Fed and other central banks may feel pressure to withdraw the economic stimulus that has pushed up stock prices. Fed officials said earlier that they could hike rates at the end of next year.

Higher prices combined with stronger hiring in the United States suggests that the attitude at the next Fed meeting may be “shamelessly more hawkish,” Mizuho Bank’s Tan Boon Heng said in a report.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 SPX,
+ 0.23%
advanced to 4,701.46. Gains in technology, real estate and energy stocks offset falls by banks and materials companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
slipped less than 0.1% to 35,804.38. The Nasdaq composite COMP,
+ 0.44%
gained 0.4% to 15,845.23.

Fed notes showed officials still believe this year’s spike in inflation is likely to be temporary, but recognized prices have risen more than expected.

The notes covered the October meeting in which members of the Fed’s board of directors voted to take the first steps to cancel easy credit and other steps to support an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

On the energy markets, the American benchmark CLF22 crude,
rose 10 cents to $ 78.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude BRNF22,
used to set the price of international oil, gained 14 cents to $ 81.19 a barrel in London.

The dollar USDJPY,
fell to 115.37 yen from 115.48 yen.

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