Asian Stocks Down, Investors Continue to Digest Hawkish Fed Policy Decision

Asian Stocks Down, Investors Continue to Digest Hawkish Fed Policy Decision

Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down Thursday morning, with U.S. counterparts extending losses. Investors continue to digest the latest U.S. Federal Reserve policy decision that indicated a pickup in the expected pace of its asset tapering.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 1.14% by 10:11 PM ET (2:11 AM GMT) and South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.75%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 0.30%. Employment data for May released earlier in the day was better than expected, with the employment change at 115,200 while the unemployment rate fell to 5.1%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched down 0.05%.

China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.21% while the Shenzhen Component was up 0.63%. Economic data released on Wednesday said that industrial production grew a worse-than-expected 8.8% year-on-year in May while the unemployment rate was 5.2%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields jumped eight basis points, while five- and seven-year equivalents rose even more as investors scrambled to reprice the rate increases timing.

Emerging market currencies in Asia, led by the South Korean won, tumbled after the dollar recorded its biggest jump in a year. Crude oil fell as the strengthening dollar reduced the appeal of commodities priced in the currency while gold also tumbled.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will testify on the federal budget before a House of Representatives panel later in the day.

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