Market Overview

Asian, European Stocks Mostly Lower Amid U.S. Interest Rate Concerns


Global equities were mostly lower on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve's minutes from its April meeting point to a potential interest rate hike as soon as June.

Higher interest rates in the U.S. could result in global investors pulling money out of riskier assets, particularly in emerging Asian stocks and into safer and more attractive U.S. assets.

The U.S. dollar also moved higher following the Fed's minutes, which put pressure on global energy stocks and commodity prices.

India's Mumbai Sensex index lost 1.19 percent, Taiwan's TSEC index lost 0.78 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.67 percent and Australia's ASX index lost 0.64 percent.

China's Shanghai index lost just 0.02 percent while Japan's Nikkei index gained just 0.01 percent.

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Similarly, European equities were mostly lower with nearly five hours of trading remaining.

"The markets were getting a little too complacent for the scope for rate hikes this year and next year but the fed minutes were on the hawkish side yesterday so that made investors nervous," Allan von Mehren, chief analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen told Bloomberg. "We see some repricing on bond yields and it's also having a negative spill-over on equity markets."

The UK's FTSE index was trading lower by 1.28 percent, Germany's DAX ide had lost 1.21 percent and France's CAC index shed 0.95 percent.

Oil prices were also lower Thursday morning with the price of WTI crude lower by more than 2 percent and trading below the $48 per barrel mark. Commodity investors were reacting to the U.S. government's announcement that its crude oil inventories rose by 1.3 million barrels to 541.3 million last week.


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Posted-In: Asian Stocks European stocks FedNews Commodities Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets

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