U.S. Federal Reserve forecasts rate hikes in 2023

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a muted start on Thursday, as investors watch for market reaction after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday moved up its timeline for rate hikes.

Futures pointed to a muted open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,250 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,320. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,291.01.

Stocks in Australia also looked poised to open little changed, with the SPI futures contract at 7,394, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,386.20. Australia’s jobs data for May is set to be released at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Thursday.

Fed brings forward timeline for rate hikes

The Fed on Wednesday brought forward the time frame on which it will next raise interest rates, with the so-called dot plot of individual member expectations pointing to two hikes in 2023.

“The new Fed ‘dot plot’ indicating that the median FOMC member now forecasts two Fed rate hikes in 2023, versus none in the March iteration, represented the hawkish surprise out of the June Fed meeting,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 265.66 points overnight stateside to 34,033.67 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.54% to 4,223.70. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.24% to 14,039.68.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.129 as compared with levels below 90.5 seen earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.72 per dollar following a sharp weakening recently from below 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7614, lower than levels above $0.77 seen earlier in the week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • Australia: Jobs data for May at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN

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