Asian Stocks Down, Investors Continue to Digest “Hawkish” Fed Minutes By

© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Thursday morning, as investors continued to digest that indicated the .

Japan’s rose 0.83% by 9:03 PM ET (2:03 AM GMT). South Korea’s was down 0.55%, with the hiking its interest rate to 1% as it handed down its policy decision earlier in the day.

In Australia, the edged down 0.16%.

Hong Kong’s was down 0.52%

China’s edged down 0.16% and the inched down 0.03%.

U.S. markets are closed for a holiday on Thursday.

The Fed’s minutes from its latest meeting, released on Wednesday, indicated that the central bank was open to speeding up the pace of asset tapering.

“Various participants noted that the Federal Open Market Committee should be prepared to adjust the pace of asset purchases and raise the target range for the federal funds rate sooner than participants currently anticipated if inflation continued to run higher,” according to the minutes.

“These minutes were hawkish,” TD Securities global head of rates strategy Priya Misra told Bloomberg.

“The market has moved the timing of the first-rate hike now to June of 2022 which implies this earlier end to QE is already priced in. The market is going to struggle until we get more data.”

San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly also said it would be hard to argue against faster asset tapering if labor market and consumer prices data due in early December continue to be better than expected.

Alongside the Fed minutes, U.S. data released on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s holiday showed that the grew 2.1% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter. The data also showed that 199,000 were filed throughout the week, the lowest level since 1969.

Across the Atlantic, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey will speak at a Cambridge Union event later in the day.

Meanwhile, events in Mexico are also on investors’ radars. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador nominated Victoria Rodríguez Ceja to head the Bank of Mexico, having withdrawn his previous nominee, former finance minister Arturo Herrera.

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