The full moon, otherwise known as a strawberry supermoon, is seen over the Skyline of the CBD in Sydney, Australia June 15, 2022.
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Asia-Pacific markets were lower after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed that the central bank was split on its decision to pause its rate hikes in June and sees more hikes ahead at a slower pace.
Officials said that a brief pause in the Fed’s tightening cycle would give the committee time to assess the impacts of the hikes, the most aggressive moves since the early 1980s.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses in the region and tumbled almost 3%, with declines led by basic materials and health-care stocks. Meanwhile in mainland China, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.38% and the Shenzhen Component lost 0.39%.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen kicks off her visit to Beijing this week, where she is expected to meet with senior officials in China. This comes after China on Wednesday unexpectedly canceled EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell’s visit to China.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 1.64% and the Topix shed 1.22% in Thursday’s morning trade. In South Korea, the Kospi dropped 0.61% while the Kosdaq fell 1.35%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slid 1.34%.
In Southeast Asia, Malaysia’s central bank is expected to hold its overnight policy rate steady at 3%, according to a Reuters poll.