Asian stock markets fell on Thursday after Fed made no firm decision on when to end their support measures for the economy.
Remarkably, the lack of a directive from the Federal Reserve fueled worries over increasing COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant, and the pandemic’s impact on consumer spending and jobs growth.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell by 0.7% to 27,394.43. Meanwhile, the Kospi in South Korea dipped 0.9% to 3,130.67 and the Shanghai Composite Index declined 1% to settle at 3,451.04.
Furthermore, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.6% at 25,444.10. Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.4% to 7,474.00.
Notably, minutes of the Fed’s July 27-28 meeting showed that most officials in attendance considered it was appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year.
The Federal Reserve’s purchases were meant to lower long-term interest rates and stimulate borrowing and spending. Significantly, it includes Treasury and mortgage bond buying, which now amounts to $120bn a month. But officials ended short of setting a firm timeline.
Small company stocks also declined, weighing on Russell 2000 index
In the previous session, stocks declined broaly on Wall Street. Remarkably, the benchmark S&P 500 dipped 1.1% to 4,400.27 in its biggest fall since mid-July.
Financial, health care, technology, and industrial firms were the biggest losers. But the index’s consumer discretionary sector surged as investors bid up shares in Lowe’s. Furthermore, other big retailers that published better-than-anticipated quarterly results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 1.1% to 34,960.69. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.9% to 14,525.91. Moreover, small company stocks also declined, weighing on Russell 2000 index by 0.8% to 2,158.78.
Additionally, benchmark U.S. crude tumbled $1.16 to $64.30 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude dropped $1.05 to $67.18 per barrel in London.
Furthermore, the U.S. dollar against the yen boosted to 110.17 from Wednesday’s 109.76 yen. Meanwhile, the euro slid to $1.1672 from $1.1721.