Asian shares mixed over economic growth, rate worries

April 16, 2023  -TOKYO (AP) — Asian markets were trading mixed Monday as worries continued about economic growth, even as some hopes were perked by a recent rise in U.S. bank issues.

Traders are also focused on upcoming earnings reports from global companies. Worries continue about inflationary pressures, and how that might affect moves by the Federal Reserve and the world’s other central banks on interest rates.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was little changed, inching down less than 0.1% in morning trading to 28,475.31. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2% to 7,373.60, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.2% to 2,565.97. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2% to 20,488.00. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.9% to 3,368.53.

“Markets suffer from more heat than light as hyper-sensitivity of Fed policy projections to U.S. data continues to infuse out-sized volatility,” said Tan Boon Heng at Mizuho Bank.

China’s central bank kept the one-year medium-term lending facility rate unchanged at 2.75%, suggesting economic growth data to be released Tuesday won’t be too alarming.

Stocks on Wall Street ended last week lower as worries about interest rates overshadowed an encouraging start to earnings reporting season.

The S&P 500 fell 8.58 points, or 0.2%, to 4,137.64 after giving up an early gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 143.22, or 0.4%, to 33,886.47, while the Nasdaq composite sank 42.81, or 0.4%, to 12,123.47.

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