TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares declined Wednesday after stocks tumbled on Wall Street as worries persist about higher interest rates and their tightening squeeze on the global economy.
Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 1.4% in morning trading to 27,100.51. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3% to 7,312.50. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.6% to 2,420.93. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.1% to 20,500.35, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.1% to 3,302.23.
New Zealand’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by a half-point to 4.75% to try to wrestle down inflation. The increase, which can raise the borrowing costs for consumers on everything from credit cards to mortgages, comes despite widespread economic pain from a devastating cyclone.
Higher rates hurt investment prices and raise the risk of a recession by slowing business investment and consumer spending.
U.S. employment and consumer spending have weathered higher interest rates well, but a report Tuesday showed sales of previously occupied homes slowed to their slowest pace in more than a decade. The mixed signals leave investors wondering if the Fed will ease back on rate hikes or resume a more aggressive stance.