Stock markets struggled for traction on Thursday after a jittery session on Wall Street where cryptocurrencies crashed and a hint of tapering talk from the U.S. Federal Reserve drove selling in the bond market and lifted the safe-haven dollar.
Benchmarks in South Korea (.KS11) and Japan (.N225) were either side of flat in morning trade and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (.HSI) fell about 0.8% to pull MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) down by 0.2%.
Commodities also fell, Treasuries nursed losses while the dollar held overnight gains.
Fed minutes published on Wednesday said “a number” of officials thought that if the recovery holds up, it might be appropriate to “begin discussing a plan for adjusting the pace of asset purchases”. read more
“This is very much the market view, really,” ING economist Rob Carnell said on the phone from Singapore, with traders expecting strong hints over summer that the taper is coming and that policy support could start to ease in December.