Asian equities slump

Brainard’s tightening comments dampen Asian markets

Hawkish comments around the Fed’s balance sheet runoff and 0.50% rate hikes threw a bucket of cold reality onto equity markets overnight. Fed Governor Lael Brainard, one of the most dovish FOMC members, said that a reduction of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, so-called quantitative tightening, could begin as early as next month and at a much faster pace than previous efforts. Additionally, Ms Brainard suggested the 0.50% hike was on the table as the Fed was prepared to take “strong action” to reign in inflationary pressures.


US yields firmed across the curve and Wall Street retreated. The S&P retreated by 1.25%, the Nasdaq, home to the most interest-rate sensitive stocks, slumped by 2.26%, while the Dow Jones lost 0.80%. US index futures have moved 0.10% lower in Asia.


Fears of a faster US monetary tightening on several fronts is also forcing Asian equity markets lower today, not helped by a massive drop in China’s Caixin Non-Manufacturing PMI and continued concerns around the Shanghai Covid-19 lockdown. Japan’s Nikkei 225 has fallen by 1.80%, with South Korea’s Kospi losing 0.90%.


In mainland China, the return from holiday sees the Shanghai Composite down 0.40%, with the CSI 300 falling by 0.50%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng has lost 1.55%. Singapore is 0.60% lower, Taiwan is down 0.85%, Kuala Lumpur has gained 0.35%, but Jakarta has lost 0.40%. Australian markets are also in retreat, the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries losing 0.80%.


Wall Street’s overnight losses will weigh on European equities, as will the detail of the new sanctions to be announced. How well European equities hold up will depend on the detail of those sanctions. This evening’s FOMC minutes, giving an insight into just how hawkish the committee might actually be, will be the main driver of Wall Street’s direction.

Content is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Business Information & Services, Inc. or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. If you would like to reproduce or redistribute any of the content found on MarketPulse, an award winning forex, commodities and global indices analysis and news site service produced by OANDA Business Information & Services, Inc., please access the RSS feed or contact us at Visit to find out more about the beat of the global markets. © 2023 OANDA Business Information & Services Inc.

Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, from 2016 to August 2022
With more than 30 years of FX experience – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeffrey Halley was OANDA’s Senior Market Analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant macro analysis covering a wide range of asset classes. He has previously worked with leading institutions such as Saxo Capital Markets, DynexCorp Currency Portfolio Management, IG, IFX, Fimat Internationale Banque, HSBC and Barclays. A highly sought-after analyst, Jeffrey has appeared on a wide range of global news channels including Bloomberg, BBC, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Sky TV and Channel News Asia as well as in leading print publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He was born in New Zealand and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School.
Jeffrey Halley
Jeffrey Halley

Latest posts by Jeffrey Halley (see all)