TOKYO (AP) — Shares fell in Asia on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates, as expected. Lower oil prices took a toll on energy-related shares across the region, while Japan’s benchmark slipped as the yen gained against the dollar. Property developers led the decline in Hong Kong.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index fell 0.4 percent to 19,797.46 and South Korea’s Kospi sank 0.6 percent to 2,358.34. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 0.9 percent to 25,643.15. Shanghai’s Composite index edged 0.1 percent lower to 3,128.29 and the S&P ASX 200 in Australia tumbled 1.1 percent to 5,770.90. Shares in Southeast Asia also were mostly lower.
RATE HIKE: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time since December, something investors had widely expected based on the Fed’s recent statements. Fed leaders suggested they still expect to raise rates again later in the year.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: “Asian markets were seen broadly lower this morning, taking little cues from overnight markets. The drop in crude oil prices and the corresponding unloading of energy shares in the region, meanwhile, seems to be the primary drag on regional bourses,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.
HONG KONG: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority raised interest rates after the Fed’s move, to help keep the territory’s currency at a stable rate against the U.S. dollar. That spurred selling of real estate developers’ shares.
U.S. DATA: The Commerce Department said retail spending decreased in May, surprising experts and prompting investors to buy traditionally safe assets like government bonds and high-dividend companies and sell stocks from other industries that depend more on economic growth. Bond yields hit their lowest level of 2017. Oil prices also hit an annual low after the government’s weekly report on oil stockpiles.
WALL STREET ON WEDNESDAY: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged 0.1 percent lower, to 2,437.92. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent, to a record 21,374.56. Home Depot and Goldman Sachs contributed most of the blue-chip index’s gain. After a late tumble in technology stocks, the Nasdaq composite lost 0.4 percent, to 6,194.89.
ENERGY: Oil futures plunged overnight after the U.S. government said oil supplies shrank only slightly last week while gasoline stockpiles grew. Benchmark U.S. crude fell another 5 cents to $44.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.73, or 3.7 percent, to settle at $44.73 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, edged 1 cent higher to $47.01 a barrel. It had shed $1.72, or 3.5 percent, to close at $47 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged lower to 109.56 from 109.57 yen. The euro edged up to $1.1219 from $1.1217.