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Asian Stocks Slip but Losses Restrained

Asian Stocks Slip but Losses Restrained

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.5 per cent to close at 25,028.37. That means Apple and other big USA companies are dependent on customers not only in Peoria but also Paris and Peru.

The S&P 500 trimmed its loss as the day went on, and it was down 7 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 2,670, as of 1:40 p.m.

Powell stressed that he did not want to prejudge the new set of projections, but his comments still raised concerns about four rate increases this year. It was down as much as 586 points earlier. Separately, the Nasdaq was down 1.2% at 7,330.35. Traders boosted bets the US central bank would squeeze in a fourth rate hike this year following the remarks.

Stocks of smaller US companies, which tend to do more of their business at home, did much better than the rest of the market.

"Stock markets are a lot more skittish than they were in the past, because the skew in the monetary policy is on the tightening side", said Wouter Sturkenboom, senior investment strategist at Russell Investments.

About 8.1 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges.

Wall Street's main indexes overturned earlier losses to trade higher on Thursday after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the central bank does not see strong evidence of wage inflation and that there is no evidence that the USA economy is overheating.

Worries about the possibility of much higher interest rates have been at the centre of the market's troubles over the last month.

If a trade war does indeed break out, it could threaten one of the key reasons investors were optimistic about stocks coming into 2018: The global economy is finally strengthening in sync, which should lead to higher corporate profits. Some traders took that as a signal that the Fed may raise rates more quickly than expected.

Powell says that he believed the labor market can strengthen further without causing an acceleration in inflation.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.83 percent from 2.81 percent late Thursday.

Best Buy Co.(BBY) earnings and revenue came in above expectations, sending shares 2% higher. The stock sank $4.67 to $57.73. Shares dropped $6.02, or 13.1 per cent, to $39.86.

Oil prices continue to drop following a report on Wednesday that showed more crude supplies in inventories last week than analysts expected. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.2 per cent to 2,427.36. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, rose 54 cents to $64.37 a barrel. Gold for April delivery lost $14.20, or 1.1%, to land at $1,318.60 per ounce.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 106.76 Japanese yen from 107.18 yen late Wednesday. On the Nasdaq, 1,577 issues rose and 628 fell. The FTSE 100 in London gave up 1.5 per cent. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index both plummeted by 1.4 percent.

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