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Nov. 24, 2021, 12:05 a.m. EST

Asian markets decline amid inflation, oil price worries

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By Associated Press c

TOKYO — Asian shares fell Wednesday as worries about inflation set off expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise interest rates.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -3.11% dropped 1.6% in early trading, following a national holiday Tuesday. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -3.50% slipped 0.3%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.77% edged down nearly 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.99% was flat, while the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -1.78% fell 0.1%. Stocks dipped in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.15% , but were little changed in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.35% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.16% .

“Markets continue to shift their expectations toward a tighter Fed monetary policy,” said Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG, adding that investors will be watching for U.S. data being released later in the day.

Some Asian central banks have already begun to raise interest rates to tamp down inflation. New Zealand’s raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% Wednesday to 0.75%.

In October the Reserve Bank raised it from a record low 0.25% to 0.5%, the first such hike in more than seven years, removing some support it put in place when the coronavirus pandemic began.

The Fed will release minutes later in the day from its October policy meeting, potentially giving investors more details on the central bank’s plan to start trimming bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low.

Investors have been watching to see if pressure from rising inflation will goad the Fed into speeding up its plans for trimming bond purchases and raising its benchmark interest rate.

Wall Street closed out a wobbly day of trading, as gains in banks and energy companies tempered losses elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.54% managed to rise 0.2% to 4,690.70 after wavering between small gains and losses for much of the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.02% rose 0.5% to 35,813.80, while the Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -1.40% closed 0.5% lower, at 15,775.14.

The price of U.S. crude oil rose 2.3% and wholesale gasoline rose 3.4% on Tuesday after  President Joe Biden ordered 50 million barrels of oil released  from the nation’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs. The move was made in concert with other big oil-consuming nations, including Japan.

Although Japan’s overall data has not shown an inflation problem on the scale of other nations, critics say it’s just not as blatantly visible, in sectors slammed by soaring energy prices, from businesses that rely on fuel to plastic bags that are a petroleum product.

The release of the oil reserves may not necessarily bring down oil prices, but analysts say it may serve as a message to OPEC.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 5 cents to $78.55 a barrel. Brent crude , the international standard, shed 21 cents to $81.12 a barrel.

Stocks are likely to see more mixed trading this week, with U.S. markets closing on Thursday for Thanksgiving and then closing early on Friday.

Wall Street will get a few pieces of economic data on Wednesday that could give investors a better sense of the economic recovery’s pace and breadth. The Labor Department will release its weekly report on unemployment benefits. The Commerce Department releases data on third-quarter gross domestic product and its new home sales report for October.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.5939% fell to 115.09 Japanese yen from 115.15 yen.

/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
26,170.30
-841.03 -3.11%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 27, 2022 3:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,614.49
-94.75 -3.50%
Volume: 487,726
Jan. 27, 2022 3:33p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
6,838.30
-123.30 -1.77%
Volume: 3,475
Jan. 28, 2022 7:56a
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/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
23,807.00
-482.90 -1.99%
Volume: 1.85M
Jan. 27, 2022 4:09p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,394.25
-61.42 -1.78%
Volume: 28.06B
Jan. 27, 2022 3:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed
TW : Taiwan Stock Exchange
17,674.40
-26.72 -0.15%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 26, 2022 1:33p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
3,260.03
-11.54 -0.35%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 27, 2022 5:20p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed
ID : Indonesia Stock Exchange
6,611.16
+10.34 +0.16%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 27, 2022 3:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
4,326.51
-23.42 -0.54%
Volume: 3.01B
Jan. 27, 2022 4:20p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
34,160.78
-7.31 -0.02%
Volume: 515.68M
Jan. 27, 2022 4:20p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : Nasdaq
13,352.78
-189.34 -1.40%
Volume: 4.36M
Jan. 27, 2022 4:22p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
115.3560
+0.6810 +0.5939%
Volume: 0.0000
Jan. 27, 2022 4:22p
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