Hang Seng, Germany’s DAX worst performers by diving 3.3%, 2.1%, respectively
ANKARA (AA) – Major stock markets in Asia closed mixed on Monday, and European indices plummeted amid investors’ fear that the US Federal Reserve may signal policy changes at the conclusion of its meeting in two days.
The Fed may signal Wednesday an interest rate hike by late 2022, earlier than its previous projection of two rate hikes in 2023. The central bank’s much-anticipated tapering, the process of reducing accumulating $120 billion monthly assets on its balance sheet, is also expected to be announced when it would formally begin.
Indices in Asia had massive losses last week with Evergrande Real Estate Group, China’s second-largest property developer that has $300 billion in liabilities, is in danger of being unable to issue payments on loan interest due Monday, which may cause millions of its customers to lose their deposits.
Asia Dow, which includes blue-chip companies in the region, was down 45 points, or 1.14%, to 3,934 at 1012 GMT. It was down 0.96% last week.
The Hang Seng, the benchmark for blue-chip stocks trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, posted the most decline in Asia by diving 821 points, or 3.3%, to 24,099. The index was the worst performer in the region last week by shedding 4.9%.
Singapore index fell by 29 points, or 0.96%, to 3,041, and the Indian Sensex benchmark lost 525, or 0.9%, dropping to 58,490. While Singapore decreased 0.88% last week, Sensex was up 1.3%.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 and China’s Shanghai were the only stock exchanges on Monday that were in positive territory, by rising 176, or 0.58%, and 7, or 0.2%, to 30,500 and 3,613 points, respectively. While Nikkei rose 0.38% last week, Shanghai fell 2.4%.
In the European side, all major indices were in negative territory with some seeing losses of more than 2%.
The STOXX Europe 600, which includes around 90% of the market capitalization of the European market in 17 countries, was down by 8.6 points, or 1.87% to 453.23 as of 1017 GMT.
London’s FTSE 100 decreased by 111 points, or 1.6% to 6,852, and Germany’s DAX index plummeted the most by 333, or 2.15%, to 15,156 points.
The French CAC 40 lost 137 points, or 2.1%, dropping to 6,433 points, while Italy’s FTSE MIB posted a decline of 541 points, or 2.1%, falling to 25,168 points.
Spain’s IBEX 35 also lost 154 points, or 1.77%, decreasing to 8,805 points.
US futures in negative
US stock market futures were also in negative territory at the time, indicating a very weak opening for later Monday, while cryptocurrencies were plummeting.
The price of Bitcoin, world’s largest crypto by market cap, was down 6.7% to $44,850, while some altcoins shed up to 17% daily loss.
The Dow futures were down 554 points, or 1.6%, while the S&P 500 futures fell 60 points, or 1.36%. The Nasdaq futures shed 163, or 1.06%, to 15,163.
Amid the Fed uncertainty and fears, investors took more interest in precious metals. Gold was up 0.3% to reach $1,760 per ounce and silver rose 0.4% to $22.5.