Thursday, 15 December 2016

Asia stocks, bonds struggle as Fed flags more hikes

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Asian shares and currencies struggled on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in a year and hinted at the risk of a faster pace of tightening than investors were positioned for. Yields on short-term US debt surged to the highest since 2009, sending the dollar to peaks not seen in almost 14 years. 

Wall Street suffered its biggest percentage decline since before the November 8 US presidential election, though the loss was slight compared with gains of the last month or so. The Fed's rate rise of 25 basis points to 0.5-0.75 percent was well flagged but investors were spooked when the "dot plots" of members' projections showed a median of three hikes next year, up from two previously.

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