Asian equity markets declined on Friday following hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official. Speaking in a televised interview in the U.S. overnight, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard suggested interest rates could rise sooner rather than later, leading Wall Street shares to end in the red overnight.
“Given Janet Yellen’s last comments highlighted ‘noise’ in the inflation reading, these comments [from Bullard] have some significance. In fact, most of the Fed comments this week have been quite hawkish and perhaps this resulted in the subdued performance in equities,” said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in a note.
Also weighing on sentiment was data showing that U.S. consumer spending rose less than expected in May, which led many economists to pare back growth forecasts for the second quarter.
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