Global stocks ease after Fed hints at easing stimulus
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.3%
Beijing: Global stock markets were mostly lower Thursday after the Federal Reserve indicated it might ease off economic stimulus earlier than previously thought.
London and Frankfurt opened lower while Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney fell. Shanghai and Hong Kong advanced. US futures were lower after Fed policymakers on Wednesday estimated their benchmark rate would rise twice by late 2023, earlier than a previous forecast of no hikes before 2024. The Fed indicated it sees the US economy improving faster than expected. Ultra-low rates from the Fed and other central banks have propelled a global stock market rebound from last year's plunge amid the coronavirus pandemic. "The Fed may have delivered a more hawkish message for markets than many would have expected," Yeap Jun Rong of IG said in a report. Still, Yeap said, differing views among board members suggests "much will still depend on how the economic recovery will play out." In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.3 per cent to 7,165.60 and Frankfurt's DAX was off less than 0.1 per cent at 15,699.25.
The CAC 40 in Paris retreated 0.1 per cent to 6,645.49. On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.3 per cent. The S&P 500 index fell 0.5 per cent on Wednesday after Fed projections showed some of its board members expect short-term interest rates to rise by half a percentage point by late 2023. The Dow lost 0.8 per cent and the Nasdaq composite shed 0.2 per cent. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.9 per cent to 29,018.33 while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2 per cent to 3,525.60.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4 per cent to 28,558.59. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said it suffered technical problems as a wave of internet outages hit financial institutions, airlines and other companies across the globe. The exchange said later its websites were back to normal.