Asian shares stutter, dollar buoyant as data supports hawkish Powell
Asian shares wobbled while the dollar was perched near a three-month top on Thursday after a spate of economic data overnight appeared to support Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish guidance on further interest rate increases.
In his second day on Capitol Hill, Powell stuck to his message of higher and potentially faster interest rate hikes, but emphasized that debate was still underway with a decision hinging on data to be issued before the U.S. central bank’s policy meeting in two weeks.
With riskier assets still reeling from the heavy sell-off a day earlier, investors are focused on February jobs data due on Friday for confirmation that continued strong jobs growth supports bigger rate increases.
Forecasts are centred on a more modest increase of 205,000 after January’s 517,000 jump led markets to reprice their monetary tightening expectations.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) eased 0.2% on Thursday, extending a drop of 1.4% the previous session. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225), on the other hand, rose 0.6%.
This report’s information was first seen on REUTERS; to read more, click this link.
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