Sat, 23 Sep 2023

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks were in the doldrums in Asia on Friday as investors weighed up potential Federal Reserve maneuvers given rising inflation across the world, coupled with fears of recession.

"There are no signs that the labour market or inflation data are slowing sufficiently for the Fed to declare victory on inflation," Brian Martin, head of G3 economics at ANZ, told Reuters Friday.

"We see upside risks to the Fed's inflation projections, and we expect these and the dot plot to be revised up in September. We have revised up our year-end fed funds rate forecast by 25bp to 4.0 percent and now expect three 50bp hikes over the remainder of 2022," he said.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 11.81 points or 0.04 percent to 28,930.33.

The Australian All Ordinaries inched up one point or 0.01 percent to 7,358.70.

South Korea's Kospi Composite slid 15.36 points or 0.61 percent to 2,492.69.

The Shanghai Composite retreated 19.47 points or 0.59 percent to 3,258.08.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng added 9.12 points or 0.05 percent t to 19,773.03.

The biggest loser on the day was New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50, which shed 129.53 points or 1.10 percent to 11,684.81.

On foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar rally extended. The euro edged to 1.008 by the close in Sydney Friday. The British pound was out of favor at 1.1916. The Japanese yen weakened to 136.50. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9583.

The Canadian dollar was unwanted at 1.2970, while the Australian and New Zealand dollars were sold off sharply to 0.6910 and 0.6232, respectively.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones rose 18.72 points or 0.06 percent to 33,999.04.

The Nasdaq Composite edged up 27.32 points or 0.21 percent to 12,965.34.

The Standard and Poor's 500 added 9.70 points or 0.24 percent to 4,283.74.

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