Asian stocks are retreating after Jay Powell said the rate rise is expected soon


China’s tech stocks have suffered a sharp sell-off as markets across the Asia-Pacific region followed a fall on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve president refused to rule out future interest rate hikes.

Shares of Alibaba-listed Hong Kong-based e-commerce group Jack Ma opened 5.5 percent lower on Thursday, while shares of food delivery giant Meituan fell nearly 3.9 percent. China’s video-sharing site Bilibili has weakened more than 10 percent to a record low.

European stocks were set to open negatively despite solid gains the day before. Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 fell 2.8 percent, while futures on the FTSE 100 were down 1.8 percent.

That feeling was reflected across the Atlantic, with U.S. stocks pointing to further declines as deadlines for the reference S&P 500 fell 1.3 percent.

The Hang Seng Tech index, which represents the 30 largest technology companies listed in Hong Kong, fell 3.5 percent.

The decline was recorded in Asian markets, with Japan’s Topix falling 2 percent and the broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong 2.1 percent. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 index lost as much as 2.3 percent, down nearly 10 percent from its August high.

China’s CSI 300 index of large stocks in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 1.4 percent before regaining its position, but remained in the red.

South Korean tech heavyweight Kospi lost as much as 2.6 percent after a a powerful debut of LG Energy Solutions reduced liquidity of other stocks and Samsung Electric missed estimates for the fourth quarter despite strong earnings.

Paul Choi, head of stock research at CLSA, told the Financial Times that expectations of rising interest rates from the Fed have eased market sentiment in South Korea as foreigners cashed in on stocks.

“Second, there have been a lot of IPOs and the issuance of new shares absorbs liquidity, which is negative for existing shares,” Choi said.

Global markets have been volatile in recent weeks as traders prepare for Fed’s tightening of monetary policy, with speculative stocks of technology struck particularly hard.

The US Federal Reserve indicated on Wednesday that it will begin raising interest rates at its next policy meeting in March. Chairman Jay Powell refused to turn off successive rates increase later in the year.

Powell said raising rates “soon” would be appropriate, adding that the bank must be “smart”.

Increasing uncertainty due to tensions in between Russia and Ukraine contributed to rising oil prices, which hovered around multi-year highs.

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