By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian markets fell Monday on worries about the Federal Reserve’s policy outlook and rising U.S Treasury yields, while Indonesian, Indian and Thai stocks tumbled on local economic concerns.
Mainland Chinese and Japanese shares ended higher after a choppy trading session on buying after a string of recent losses.
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Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.74% ended fractionally lower, South Korea’s /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.57% slipped 0.1%, Taiwan’s Taiex shed 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.47% dropped 0.2%.
The performance in Asia came after U.S. stocks ended lower on Friday, handing the Dow Jones Industrial Average its worst weekly performance of the year. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to hit the highest level in two years amid jitters over monetary policy.
“Recent weakness in U.S. equity markets appears to have been largely about positioning for the Fed to make a first step in the process of winding back its quantitative easing in September,” said CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner.
“Given this market context, traders will focus on ... [Federal Reserve meeting minutes, due out Wednesday] for any clearer signs on the probability of a Fed move,” Spooner said.
India, Indonesia and Thailand
Meanwhile, India’s 30-stock S&P BSE Sensex /zigman2/quotes/210597966/delayed IN:1 -0.87% dropped 2.1% in Mumbai afternoon trade, on top of Friday’s 4% tumble, while Indonesia’s JSX /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.51% plunged 5.1% by late afternoon in Jakarta.
The declines follows weakened local currencies for both nations amid a string of poor economic data.
“Given recent events in both India and Indonesia, the ‘crisis’ word is being heard more and more often,” said Robert Prior-Wandesforde, an economist at Credit Suisse.
/zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed JAKIDX 6,258.75, -32.05, -0.51%
/zigman2/quotes/210598047/delayed SET 1,544.11, +10.00, +0.65%
He was referring to controls by the Reserve Bank of India to restrain fund outflows from the country, and data showing a widened current account deficit in Indonesia.
Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209166721/delayed IN:524715 -1.24% skidded 4.8% and Bharti Airtel Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204057084/delayed IN:532454 -1.31% slumped 7.3% in Mumbai.