A customer in front of a drugstore in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022.

Soichiro Koriyama | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets fell on Friday, mirroring moves on Wall Street after comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials fueled worries that the central bank could hold off on rate cuts.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari cast doubts on Thursday over the central bank cutting rates at all if inflation remained sticky.

Oil prices continued to rise, with WTI crude surpassing $86 a barrel to test six-month highs. Brent crude prices also set a new six-month high of $90.65.

Japan’s household spending in February fell much less-than-expected, down 0.5% year on year in real terms, compared with Reuters’ expectations of a 3% fall.

Japan’s unions secured generous pay hikes for workers in the “shunto” wage negotiations in March, which is expected to fuel consumer spending.

S&P will also release its business activity numbers for Hong Kong, while the Reserve Bank of India will announce its rate decision later in the day. A Reuters poll of economists expects the RBI to hold its benchmark lending rate at 6.5%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.44% at the open.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 1.59% after briefly crossing the 40,000 mark on Thursday, while the broad based Topix was 1.15% lower.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.79%, reversing gains after leading major Asian benchmarks on Thursday, while the small cap Kosdaq dropped 0.84%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, however, is expected to rise as trading resumes after a public holiday, with HSI futures at 16,860, compared to the HSI’s close of 16,725.1.


Source link