Asian stock markets gain ahead of Fed update

Jan 2, 2023, 7:38 AM | Updated: Jan 3, 2023, 8:04 pm
A currency trader walks by the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a fo...

A currency trader walks by the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. Asian stock markets rose Wednesday ahead of the release of minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting that investors hope might show the U.S. central bank is moderating its plans for more interest rate hikes to cool inflation. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Wednesday ahead of the release of minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting that investors hope might show the U.S. central bank is moderating its plans for more interest rate hikes to cool inflation.

Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney advanced. Tokyo retreated. Oil prices were little-changed.

Wall Street fell Tuesday in the year’s first trading day after recording its biggest annual decline in 14 years in 2022.

Traders worry the Fed and other central banks might be willing to push the world into recession to extinguish inflation that is at multi-decade highs. They hope minutes due out Wednesday from the Fed’s December meeting might show policymakers are reducing or delaying planned rate hikes due to signs economic activity is slowing.

“While the Fed expects to keep rates higher for longer, markets continue to push back, betting on easier policy,” Rubeela Farooqi and John Silvia of High-Frequency Economics said in a report. However, they said, “we do not think a pivot to rate cuts is likely this year.”

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4% to 3,128.38 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 1.4% to 25,724.66. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 2.2% to 20,581.92.

The Kospi in Seoul advanced 1.2% to 2,244.47 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was 1.4% higher at 7,043.90. New Zealand and Singapore advanced while Jakarta declined.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.4% to 3,824.14.

The S&P 500 shed a 1% gain and finished 0.4% lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped less than 0.1% to 33,136.37. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.8% to 10,386.98.

Technology stocks were among the biggest weights on the market. Apple fell 3.7%, leaving its market value below $2 trillion for the first time since March 8, 2021. Shares in the iPhone maker fell nearly 27% in 2022, their first annual decline in four years.

On top of concerns about inflation, investors worry about the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine and China’s COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Fed’s key lending rate stands at a range of 4.25% to 4.5%, up from close to zero following seven increases last year.

The U.S. central bank forecasts that it will reach a range of 5% to 5.25% by the end of 2023. It isn’t calling for a rate cut before 2024.

The U.S. government is due to release December employment figures Thursday. Those are expected to show a decline in hiring. Investors hope that will encourage the Fed to lower or delay possible rate hikes.

The central bank’s next policy decision on interest rates is set for Feb. 1.

Investors also are looking for corporate profit reports in mid-January. Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings for companies in the S&P 500 to slip during the fourth quarter and remain flat for the first half of 2023.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude shed 5 cents to $76.88 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $3.33 to $76.93 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, gained 15 cents to $82.25 per barrel in London. It lost $3.81 the previous session to $82.10.

The dollar edged up to 130.80 yen from Tuesday’s 131.03 yen. The euro advanced to $1.0570 from $1.0547.

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

AP

substation...
Associated Press

Puyallup man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood, 32, after renewed efforts by his attorney to get Greenwood into a drug-treatment facility.
21 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Associated Press

Democrats in Washington state choose Conrad as new leader

The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad, the former leader of King County Democrats, as its new chair.
21 hours ago
Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
21 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

A man charged with vandalizing electrical substations over the holidays to cover a burglary was released from federal custody.
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-UCLA lecturer accused of threats ruled mentally unfit

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles accused of threatening students and staff was found mentally unfit to stand trial last week by a federal judge in Denver. U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore wrote in a Jan. 27 court filing that lawyers for Matthew Harris filed […]
21 hours ago
This photo provided by Peter Phung shows Phung, left, and Ming Wei Ma at the American Chinese Sprin...
Associated Press

Ballroom shooting victims planned for night of fun, dancing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Those killed by a gunman who opened fire at a Los Angeles-area dance hall are being remembered by friends and family for the zest for life that brought them out that night to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Eleven people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Saturday night at […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Asian stock markets gain ahead of Fed update