Asian Stocks Undergo High Volatility Amid Fed Rate Decision
Dec, 11th 03:33
Shares in Asia were narrowly mixed on Friday in a thin regional data day with the focus on next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.
The Nikkei 225 gained 0.96%, while the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.31% and the Shanghai Composite eased 0.84%.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended a sharp three-day losing streak on Thursday, amid a rally in the energy sector even as crude prices dropped to fresh seven-year lows on the session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 82.45 or 0.47% to 17,574.75, while the NASDAQ Composite index added 22.30 or 0.44% to 5,045.17 on a bullish day for stocks. The S&P 500 Composite index, meanwhile, rose 4.61 or 0.23% to 2,052.23, as stocks in eight of 10 sectors closed in the green. Stocks in the Health Care, Energy and Technology sectors led, while stocks in the Utilities and Basic Materials industries lagged.
In recent weeks, a plethora of Fed members, including Fed chair Janet Yellen have sent strong indications that the Fed will raise rates at the meeting, as headwinds restraining economic growth continue to fade and the labor market nears maximum employment.
The Federal Funds Rate, the Fed’s benchmark rate offered on interbank, overnight loans, has remained at its current level between zero and 0.25% since December, 2008, shortly after the start of the Financial Crisis. Any increase of the targeted range for the Federal Funds Rate is expected to be modest at 25 basis points. The FOMC last approved a rate hike in June, 2006.