Asia-Pacific stocks set for lower start as Fed's Powell warns he can't guarantee 'soft landing'

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a lower start on Friday, as investors continue to remain cautious over inflation and the global economic outlook.

The Nikkei futures contract in Osaka sat at 25,700, as compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 25,748.72.

Australian stocks also appeared poised for a lower start, with the SPI futures contract at 6,941, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,941.

Concerns over inflation and the economic outlook have weighed on global investor sentiment in recent days, with riskier assets such as tech stocks and cryptocurrencies taking a hit.

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U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that getting inflation under control won’t be easy and warned he could not promise a so-called soft landing for the economy.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 0.13% to 3,930.08 — more than 18% lower than its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 103.81 points, or 0.33%, to 31,730.30. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced fractionally to 11,370.96.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.851 after a recent climb from below 104.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 128.54 per dollar, stronger as compared with levels above 130 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6864 as continues to struggle for a bounce after slipping from above $0.70 earlier in the week.


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