Asian Stocks Retreat As Fed Fears, Banking Crisis Hurt

Asian markets moved lower on Wednesday amidst Anxiety ahead of the Fed’s decision. Concerns over banking sector stress spilled over from Wall Street, adding to the negative sentiment.

Oil and gas stocks too plunged amidst a drop in crude oil prices. Gains in mining stocks helped limit losses. Markets in China and Japan were closed for holidays.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange dropped 234.65 points or 1.2 percent from the previous close to finish trading at 19,699.16. The day’s trading range was between a high of 19,721.96 and a low of 19,538.72.

The Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index lost 22.99 points or 0.9 percent to close trading at 2,501.40. The day’s trading range was between 2,500.22 and 2,514.37.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 Index closed trading at 7,197.40 dropping 70.00 points or 1.0 percent amidst weak sentiment that followed Reserve Bank of Australia’s surprise rate hike earlier in the week.

Gold miners surged, with Gold Road Resources, West African Resources, Silver Lake Resources, all adding more than 4 percent and Evolution Mining and Bellevue Gold both adding more than 3 percent.

Packaging company Amcor shed close to 10 percent following release of quarterly results. Healthcare business Polynovo declined 6.2 percent, followed by ARB Corporation that dropped 5.7 percent. Ramsay Health Care and NRW Holdings both declined more than 4 percent.

The NZX 50 Index of the New Zealand Stock Exchange shed 129.82 points or 1.1 percent to close at 11,907.99. Trading ranged between 11,881.23 and 12,037.81.

Fonterra Shareholders Fund was the biggest gainer with an advance of 0.8 percent. Stride Property and Meridian Energy were the other scrips that gained more than half a percent.

Westpac Banking dropped 4.1 percent whilst ANZ Holdings lost 2.9 percent, tracking the banking stock sell-off in the U.S. Fletcher Building and A2 Milk both lost more than 3 percent. Oceania Health Care also lost 2.8 percent.

Wall Street closed deep in the red on Tuesday amidst a sell-off in US regional banks, weak jobs data as well as a firm focus on the Fed’s expected 25 basis-points rate hike and forward guidance. The Nasdaq Composite shed 1.1 percent to close at 12,080.51. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.1 percent to finish trading at 33,684.53.

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