Asia Pacific stocks fall as Fed signals no rate hike until 2022

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Asia Pacific stocks fell Thursday morning after the US Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it would keep interest rates close to zero until 2022.The Nikkei 225 lost 1.18% early in the session while the Topix index slipped 0.99%. In South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.45%.

Equities in Australia also fell, with the S & P / ASX 200 trading 0.67%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia excluding Japan index fell 0.22%.

Investor reaction to the Fed’s recent economic forecast was observed on Thursday. The US central bank kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and has indicated that it does not plan to raise them until 2022. The Fed also expects the US economy to contract by 6.5% in 2020 before growing by 5% in 2021.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, was at 96,136 after previously seeing levels below 96.

“The decisions (of the Federal Open Market Committee) do not change our view of the US dollar,” economists from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia wrote in a note. “Once market players have assimilated the views of the FOMC, we expect the USD to continue to depreciate, in line with a recovery in the global economy. ”

Meanwhile, the actions of Chinese internet giant NetEase will be watched as they debut in Hong Kong on Thursday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 experienced a second consecutive day of decline. The S&P 500 closed down 0.5% to 3,190.17 while the Dow Jones lost 282.31 points, or 1%, to end its trading day at 26,989.99. The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, jumped 0.7% to 10,020.35, marking its very first close above 10,000.

Oil prices fall

Oil prices fell in the morning during Asian trading hours, as the Brent crude international futures contract fell 2.08% to $ 40.86 a barrel. American crude futures also fell 2.5% to $ 38.61 a barrel.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.99 for the dollar, after strengthening against levels above 109 seen earlier in the trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands to $ 0.6966 after briefly reaching levels above $ 0.702 earlier.

– Fred Imbert of CNBC contributed to this report.

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