Asian markets follow Wall St lower amid gloomy outlook

Dec 18, 2022, 8:08 AM | Updated: Dec 19, 2022, 7:56 pm
A currency trader works at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in S...

A currency trader works at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets extended their losses Tuesday amid gloom about weaker global economic growth as central banks raise interest rates to cool inflation.

Shanghai, Hong Kong and Sydney declined. Tokyo advanced. Oil prices rose almost $1 per barrel.

Markets are sliding after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its key lending rate last week and the European Central Bank said more rate hikes are ahead. That fueled investor fears central bankers might be willing to cause a recession to fight inflation that is at multi-decade highs.

Wall Street declined Monday for a fifth day after the Fed said last week rates might have to stay elevated longer than previously forecast.

“The tone in markets reflects a cloudy outlook for the global economy,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6% to 3,088.80 after the World Bank cut its forecast of China’s economic growth this year to 2.7% from its June outlook of 4.3%. The bank cited repeated shutdowns of major cities to fight COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 1% to 19,151.04 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.3% to 27,319.86.

The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.1% to 2,348.93 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.6% to 7,089.30. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell 0.9% to 3,817.66. The index is down about 20% this year with less than two weeks left in 2022.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 32,757.54. The Nasdaq composite lost 1.5% to 10,546.03.

Communications services stocks, technology companies and retailers declined. Disney slid 4.8%, Microsoft fell 1.7% and Home Depot dropped 1.9% lower.

Facebook’s parent company fell 4.1% after the European Union accused the company of breaching antitrust rules by distorting competition in the online classified ads business.

The Fed raised its short-term lending rate last week by one-half percentage in its seventh increase this year.

The federal funds rate stands at a 15-year high of range of 4.25% to 4.5%. The Fed forecast that will reach a range of 5% to 5.25% by the end of 2023. The forecast doesn’t call for a cut before 2024.

Investors were looking ahead to U.S. economic reports this week for an update on the path of inflation. It has declined from its 9.1% high in June but still stood at 7.1% in November.

The National Association of Realtors reports November home sales Wednesday. Also Wednesday, the Conference Board releases its consumer confidence report for December.

On Friday, the government will report November consumer spending. The report is watched by the Fed as a barometer of inflation.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 85 cents to $76.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, added 77 cents to $80.57 per barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 137.29 yen from Monday’s 136.99 yen. The euro gained to $1.10607 from $1.0604.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Asian markets follow Wall St lower amid gloomy outlook