Asian markets down on lingering US Fed fears
- Published: 20/08/2013 at 05:27 PM
- Online news:
Asian markets fell Tuesday following another weak lead from Wall Street, while the spotlight is back on the US Federal Reserve's stimulus programme, as it prepares to release minutes of its latest meeting.
Emerging markets including Thailand took a beating on the expectation that the Fed's quantitative easing will start to dry up. The baht hit its lowest point against the dollar for a year, while the Indian rupee dropped to a record low against the US currency.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index went down 27.62 points, or 1.98%, to close at 1,370.86 points at the end of trading session this afternoon. The trade value was 58.03 billion baht, with 10.27 billion shares traded. The SET50 index ended at 931.47 points, down 16.23 points, or 1.71%, with a total trade value of 46.85 billion baht.
The SET100 index fell 39.20 points, or 1.88%, to stand at 2,049.53 points, with a total turnover of 51.85 billion baht.
The SETHD index went down 13.17 points, or 1.17%, to stand at 1,111.79 points, with total trade value of 19.62 billion baht.
The MAI index dropped 11.61 points, or 3.02%, to close at 372.40 points, with total transaction value of 847.75 million baht.
The SET plunged two days in a row after it dropped by 3.27% or 47.28 points to 1,399.48 points on Monday.
Elsewhere, Tokyo tumbled 2.63%, or 361.75 points, to 13,396.38 as the dollar gave up earlier gains against the yen. Sydney slipped 0.67%, or 34.3 points, to 5,078.2 and Seoul lost 1.55%, or 29.79 points, to 1,887.85.
Hong Kong fell 2.20%, or 493.41 points to 21,970.29 and Shanghai was off 0.62%, or 13.01 points, at 2,072.59.
Manila's market was closed for a second straight day as the Philippine capital was hit by floods.
The turmoil in the global markets is a result of investors fretting over the future of the $85-billion-a-month Fed stimulus.
Traders are worried that improving conditions mean the US economy will not need the help the central bank has been providing.
The Fed has said it will turn the taps off once unemployment is low enough and the economy can stand on its own feet.
Despite this, US Treasury yields are approaching two-year highs.
With the US showing signs of improvement, analysts say the Fed will likely slow its bond-buying, which in turn will lead to higher rates at home and a repatriation of the money that flooded emerging markets when the scheme was unveiled.
However, Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, told Dow Jones Newswires: "There is no reason for Treasury yields to be this high.
"Inflation is near zero, official rates are not expected to be changed until 2015 and the underlying credit market is still shaky from uneven economic data."
Eyes are on the release Wednesday of minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting, with analysts looking for clues to its next move.
Wall Street, which on Friday ended one of its worst weeks this year, extended those losses on Monday. The Dow fell 0.47%, the S&P 500 lost 0.59% and the Nasdaq shed 0.38%.
With yields rising in the United States, the US dollar also climbed against emerging units.
It hit a record 64.11 Indian rupees while also buying 10,490 Indonesian rupiah, near a four-year high, from 10,419 rupiah. The baht was at a one-year low of 31.61 to the dollar, compared with 31.34 baht Tuesday.
The rupee is Asia's worst-performing major currency this year, falling 16% against the dollar as the Fed's wind-down added to mounting concerns about the state of India's ailing economy.
However, the dollar fell to 97.12 yen, compared with 97.56 in New York Monday, after peaking at 97.85 yen in morning trade Tuesday.
The euro bought $1.3344 and 129.48 yen, against $1.3334 and 130.09 yen.
On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September, was down $1.27 at $105.83. Brent North Sea crude for October eased 75 cents to $109.15.
About the author
Writer: Bangkok Post and AFP