Asian stocks fell, with the regional gauge heading for a six-week low, as the Federal Reserve signaled it may raise U.S. interest rates from the middle of next year.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.8 percent to 133.61 as of 9:45 a.m. in Tokyo, heading for the lowest close since Feb. 7. The Fed said yesterday its key rate, currently near zero, would be 1 percent by the end of 2015 and 2.25 percent a year later.
“We’re going to see more follow-through selling in Asia,” Toby Lawson, head of futures, options and cash equities trading for Asia Pacific at Newedge Group SA in Sydney, said by phone. “It’s significant that the Fed fund rate will rise to 1 percent by the end of 2015. We could see capital outflows from emerging markets back into the U.S., especially given residual concerns about China’s economy slowing.”
South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index decreased 0.8 percent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slipped 0.2 percent. Japan’s Topix index dropped 0.4 percent, reversing gains of as much as 0.6 percent.
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