Asian markets mixed as inflation fears weigh

Published : 23 May 2022 08:06 PM | Updated : 23 May 2022 08:06 PM

Asian stocks were mixed Monday as inflation fears and concerns about low economic growth weighed on markets. Investors will be looking to the release on Wednesday of notes from the latest Federal Reserve committee meeting for clues on further rate hikes by the US central bank.

Wall Street ended the week essentially flat after the S&P 500 had briefly dipped into a bear market, with the index down about 19 percent from its January high.

A Chinese interest rate cut did little to cheer Asian markets, with investors concerned about continuing Covid restrictions that are hurting the world's second-largest economy and snarling international supply chains.

Downcast earning reports from retailers have also heightened market uncertainty at a time of rising interest rates, surging energy prices and Russia's ongoing war on Ukraine, which is driving commodity prices higher.

"As macro-economic concerns stemming from aggressive monetary tightening, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and China's stringent Covid lockdowns persist, we anticipate great volatility in the market," Louise Dudley, portfolio manager

global equities at Federated Hermes, said in a note, Bloomberg News reported.

In Asian trade Monday, Tokyo climbed 1.3 percent while Hong Kong slipped 1.5

percent and Shanghai was down 0.5 percent.

Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok were higher while Singapore and Manila were down and Sydney was flat following a weekend election that saw the centre- left Labor party end a decade of conservative rule.