Asian stocks wobble on concerns over possible Federal Reserve rate hike

TOKYO - Asian shares meandered Tuesday as jittery investors took cues from gains on Wall Street but volatility remained high ahead of Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan policy meetings.

See Full Article

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index fell 1.1 per cent to 18,670.76 as the yen rose against the U.S. dollar. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 per cent to 4,919.30, but most other major markets gained. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5 per cent to 21,406.08 and the Shanghai Composite added 0.1 per cent to 3,523.66. South Korea's Kospi was up 0.2 per cent at 1,930.96. Markets in New Zealand, Taiwan rose and shares in Southeast Asia were mostly lower.

THE FED: The Federal Reserve begins its last meeting of the year on Tuesday, and is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade on Wednesday. The Fed's key short-term interest rate has been close to zero since Dec. 16, 2008. A rate hike would signal confidence in the U.S. economy, but some investors worry it may slow growth.

JAPAN STIMULUS: Mixed economic data for Japan are keeping alive, though just barely, hopes for more stimulus from the Bank of Japan to help spur the recovery. But most economists do not expect such a move at the policy meeting that wraps up on Friday.

THE QUOTE: "A combination of taut nerves and thin markets may mean an unseasonal increase in market volatility over the coming weeks," Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets said in a commentary, noting that a rate hike is still uncertain. "Although markets are prepared for a rate rise, the disparity in forecasts may mean there is still a strong reaction in trading," he said.

WALL STREET: After an indecisive day that followed a dismal week, stocks turned around in the last minutes of trading Monday and managed to end with modest gains. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 103.29 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 17,358.50. The S&P 500 index gained 9.57 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,021.94. The Nasdaq composite index added 18.76 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 4,952.23.

ENERGY: The price of U.S. crude oil fell below $35 a barrel on Monday for the first time since early 2009 but then rebounded to gain about 2 per cent, or 69 cents, to $36.31 a barrel. In Asia on Tuesday, U.S. crude lost 5 cents to $36.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 18 cents to $37.98.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged lower, to 120.91 yen from 121.09 yen in the previous session. The euro rose to $1.1020 from $1.0994.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Russia says oil production cuts may continue to boost prices

    Economic CTV News
    KUWAIT CITY -- Russia's energy minister says there's "94 per cent" compliance on a six-month oil production cut among OPEC members and non-cartel nations, as well as discussions about continuing the cuts to boost crude prices. Source
  • Iran imposes sanctions on 15 U.S. companies

    Economic CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran - Iran has imposed sanctions on 15 American companies over their alleged support for Israel, terrorism and repression in the region. A Foreign Ministry statement carried by the state-run IRNA news agency Sunday said the companies are barred from any agreements with Iranian firms and that former and current directors will not be eligible for visas. Source
  • How to roll up the rim without buying coffee

    Economic CBC News
    You don't need to make a purchase to enter contests such as Tim Hortons' Roll Up The Rim To Win. But sometimes the alternatives are just as costly. (Tim Hortons ) Despite the well-known slogan, you don't actually have to roll up the rim to win. Source
  • Convenience or comparison? Why sticking with 1 bank might not be the best option

    Economic CBC News
    Consumers love the convenience of one-stop shopping for their financial needs — but it could be costing them. In a poll conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by LowestRates.ca, an online interest rate comparison site, six in 10 Canadian respondents said they prefer to have all their financial products and credit cards at one bank. Source
  • More TV streaming services join U.S. market, leaving Canada far behind

    Economic CBC News
    YouTube's announcement that it will soon launch an online TV streaming service cut deep for some Canadians. That's because it's not coming here. YouTube TV will offer more than 40 live TV channels for only $35 US a month. Source
  • Poker tables keep decreasing on Las Vegas casino floors

    Economic CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- When the Monte Carlo closes its eight-table poker room in about a month as part of a $450 million overhaul, the Las Vegas Strip will have lost nearly a quarter of the tables it had a decade ago. Source
  • Las Vegas casinos continue to close poker rooms

    Economic CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- When the Monte Carlo casino closes its eight-table poker room in about a month as part of a $450 million overhaul, the Las Vegas Strip will be down nearly a quarter of the tables it had a decade ago. Source
  • Google's YouTube loses more advertisers over offensive videos

    Economic CBC News
    An advertising boycott of YouTube is broadening, a sign that big-spending companies doubt Google's ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos. PepsiCo, Walmart Stores and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have also suspended their advertising on YouTube after the Wall Street Journal found Google's automated programs placed their brands on five videos containing racist content. Source
  • National contest tries to convince students that lucrative sales jobs are 'sexy'

    Economic CBC News
    Sonya Meloff wants everyone to know that a career in sales is sexy. Not sleazy. "I think that sales is a really sexy job," says the founder of the Toronto's Sales Talent Agency. "You get to be at the forefront of representing a company, you're the one that gets to talk to the customers. Source
  • Report examines grim Bangladesh leather trade, links to West

    Economic CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries, with workers as young as 14, supplied leather to companies that make shoes and handbags for a host of Western brands, a non-profit group that investigates supply chains says. Source