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WORLD NEWS | Asian shares fall after Wall Street tumbles

The LATAM Airlines plane hit the vehicle on the runway (Image: Twitter / @AirCrash_)

TOKYO, Feb. 22 (AP) Asian stocks fell on Wednesday, after Wall Street tumbled, as concerns persisted over rising interest rates and their tightening pressure on the global economy.

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.4 percent to 27,100.51 in early trade. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3% to 7,312.50. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.6% to 2,420.93. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1 percent to 20,500.35, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.1 percent to 3,302.23.

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New Zealand’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by half a basis point to 4.75% in an attempt to curb inflation. The increase could raise borrowing costs for consumers on everything from credit cards to mortgages, despite widespread pain in the economy from a devastating hurricane.

Higher interest rates hurt investment prices and increase the risk of recession by slowing business investment and consumer spending.

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U.S. employment and consumer spending have held up well amid rising interest rates, but a report on Tuesday showed sales of existing homes slowed to their lowest level in more than a decade. The mixed signals have investors wondering whether the Fed will ease up on rate hikes or return to a more aggressive stance.

“With new narratives evolving on U.S. economic growth, employment numbers, stronger retail sales and the additional response the Fed will need to take to contain the health of the U.S. economy, investors are starting to think that the hawkish Fed may not be quite done yet, said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management in a commentary.

The S&P 500 fell 2 percent to 3,997.34 on Tuesday, its biggest drop since the market sell-off in December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 697 points, or 2.1%, to 33,129.59, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.5% to 11,492.30.

Home Depot was among the biggest losers in the market after its financial forecast fell short of Wall Street expectations. It fell 7.1% despite reporting stronger-than-expected profits for the final three months of 2022.

The retailer said it would spend $1 billion to increase wages for hourly workers in the U.S. and Canada. That adds to broader concerns that rising corporate costs have been eating into profits, one of the main levers used to determine share prices.

Interest rates and stock prices are so high that strategists at Morgan Stanley say U.S. stocks look more expensive than at any time since 2007. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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