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Asian Stocks Mixed Over Fears of an Economic Downturn

·1 min read

By Zhang Mengying

Investing.com – Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed on Friday morning on concerns about an economic downturn as monetary policy tightens.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.23% by 10:32 PM ET (2:32 AM GMT).

South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1.24%

In Australia, the ASX 200 was down 2.00%

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.00%

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.33% while the Shenzhen Component was up 1.01%

Global central banks are rolling out tight monetary policies to tame red hot inflation.

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced Wednesday an interest rate hike of 75 basis points, sparking worries of an economic downturn. The Swiss National Bank also unexpectedly hiked rates by 50 basis points on Thursday, while the Bank of England raised its interest rates to 1.25% on the same day.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) will hand down its monetary decisions later in the day, which is set to remain at ultra-low rates. However, doubts are growing that whether the BOJ will stick to its stance. Japan’s 10-year bond yield hit 0.265%, the highest since 2016.

There is “a building expectation that the Bank of Japan will need to amend their policy stance closer to some version of normal,” BMO Capital Markets strategists Benjamin Jeffery and Ian Lyngen said in a note.

Investors now are focused on “all of the half-empty things and how much narrower” the Fed’s path is “in trying to stick a soft landing,” BMO Family Office deputy chief investment officer Carol Schleif told Bloomberg.

In cryptocurrency, Bitcoin fell toward the $20,000 level.

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