March 15, 2017 – Most stock markets retreated in Asian trade today following losses on Wall Street and in Europe as nervous investors await the end of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, while oil prices bounced back from the previous day’s sharp losses.
The US central bank is all but certain to announce an interest rate hike later in the day but traders are mostly interested in what its plans are for future increases, with Fed boss Janet Yellen’s news conference in focus.
However, with a slew of strong US data in recent months having already been baked into prices, a global market has eased up in March, dented by concerns about Donald Trump’s lack of movement on his promises to ramp up infrastructure spending and cut taxes.
Tokyo closed down 0.2 per cent with the dollar unable to break above the ¥115 level breached briefly last week, while Toshiba plunged more than 12 per cent with fears growing about its future as it struggles to deal with massive losses and accounting fraud allegations at its US nuclear unit.
Hong Kong gave up 0.2 per cent and Singapore was 0.2 per cent off while Seoul was marginally lower. Taipei, Wellington and Manila were down but Sydney ended up 0.3 per cent and Shanghai put on 0.1 per cent.