Asia shares skid as rate-hike fears unnerve investors
Asian equities slipped on Friday, while the dollar hovered around six-week highs as economic data and hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials revived fears that the U.S. central bank will stick to its monetary tightening path.
Data from U.S. Labor Department overnight showed monthly producer prices accelerated in January, while a separate report from the agency showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week.
U.S. stock indexes ended Thursday sharply lower as the economic data from the week underscored a sticky inflation and an economy that remains relatively strong.
Tracking Wall Street, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was 0.68% lower and was set for its third straight week of losses. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) fell 0.47%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) declined 0.55%.
China shares (.SSEC) slipped 0.18% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (.HSI) fell 0.09%.
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