Asian stocks mixed in kickoff to new week of trading

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BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets were mixed on Monday, after Wall Street slumped last week amid concerns that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as March.

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US stocks were also pointed to a mixed start to the week, as Dow futures remained under slight pressure, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite raised chances of recovery from early losses.

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Shanghai and Hong Kong advanced. Seoul and Sydney declined. Japanese market NIY00,
+0.21%
were closed for vacation.

Investors were shocked last week after notes from the Fed’s latest meeting, officials thought the US job market is so healthy it may no longer need ultralow interest rates and other incentives.

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This was reinforced by US employment numbers on Friday, which showed stronger-than-expected wages, albeit with only half as many hiring as forecast.

Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank said in a report, “The prospect of earlier rate hikes suggests that volatility in the market may continue.”

Shanghai Composite Index SCOMP,
+0.24%
Hong Kong HSI rose 0.2% to 3,587.69 and Hang Seng,
+0.79%
rose 0.9% to 23,702.90. Kospi 180721 in Seoul,
-1.03%
Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 XAO fell 1.2% to 2,919.46,
-0.11%
It closed at 7,444.70, down 0.1%.

Fed officials said in December that investors were cautious that plans to roll back ultralow rates and other economic stimulus that have boosted share prices are now being accelerated to cool US inflation to a four-decade high. could.

Traders, unaffected by December’s shoddy job gains, continue to price in ‘quick and sharp’ tightening by Federal Reserve

On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 Index SPX,
-0.41%
It fell 0.4% to 4,677.03, or about 2.5% from its January 3 record high.

Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.01%
fell less than 0.1% to 36,231.66. Nasdaq Composite Comp,
-0.96%
fell 1% to 14,935.90.

Investors are pricing better at 79 percent that the Fed will raise short-term rates in March. A month earlier, they saw less than a 39% chance, according to CME Group.

Record-low interest rates have helped prop up stock prices despite unease about the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fed has already slowed bond purchases that were pumping money into the financial system to lower commercial lending rates. Notes from its December meeting indicate that Fed officials may cut such purchases more quickly than previously planned.

Benchmark US crude CL00 in energy markets,
+0.22%
It rose 17 cents to $79.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 56 cents to $78.90 on Friday. Brent Crude BRN00,
+0.22%,
The price, used for international oil, rose 20 cents to $81.95 a barrel in London. It fell 24 cents to $81.75 in the previous session.

Dollar USDJPY,
+0.24%
It rose to 115.79 yen from Friday’s 115.56 yen. EUR EURUSD,
-0.26%
Decreased from $1.1362 to $1.1337.

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