Asian markets slide for the third day in a row on global recession fears

BEIJING — Asian stocks fell for a third straight day Friday after more rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to control persistent inflation spurred fears of a possible global recession.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP,
-1.08%
dropped 0.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI,
-0.86%
lost 0.7%. The Kospi 180721,
-1.48%
in Seoul tumbled 1.5%.

Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO,
-1.82%
fell 1.8%. Benchmarks in New Zealand NZ50GR,
-0.87%,
Singapore STI,
-0.82%,
Taiwan Y9999,
-0.77%,
Malaysia FBMKLCI,
-0.40%
and Indonesia JAKIDX,
-0.32%
all declined.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell Thursday for a third day after rate hikes by central banks in Britain, Switzerland, Turkey and the Philippines. The Fed hiked its key rate on Wednesday for a fifth time this year and indicated more rises were on the way.

“Global equities are struggling as the world anticipates surging rates will trigger a much sooner and possibly severe global recession,” Edward Moya of Oanda said in a report.

The S&P 500 SPX,
-0.84%
lost 0.8% to 3,757.99. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.35%
fell 0.4% to 30,076.68 and the Nasdaq composite COMP,
-1.37%
wear 1.4% to 11,066.81.

The selling reflects investor fears the Fed and other central banks might be willing to tolerate a deep slowdown in economic activity to get prices under control.

Some point to signs the US economy is cooling as support for the Fed to back off plans for more rate hikes. But chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the Fed will keep rates higher for an extended time if needed to get inflation back to its 2% target.

US consumer inflation eased to 8.3% in August from the previous month’s 9.1% peak. But core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices to give a clearer picture of the trend, rose to 0.6% over the previous month, up from July’s 0.3% increase. That indicated pressure for prices to rise was still strong.

The Fed on Wednesday lifted its benchmark rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, to a range of 3% to 3.25%. It released a forecast showing that it expects the benchmark rate to be 4.4% by the year’s end, a full point higher than envisioned in June.

Traders are also looking ahead to quarterly financial results from big companies.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude CLX22,
-0.40%
lost 21 cents to $83.28 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 55 cents to $83.49 on Thursday. Brent crude BRNX22,
-0.50%,
used to price international oils, declined 28 cents to $89.25 per barrel in London. It rose 63 cents the previous session to $90.46.

The dollar USDJPY,
-0.10%
fell to 142.01 yen from 142.49 yen.

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