Asian Stocks Mostly Down on Worries About Global Growth, Fed

TOKYO (AP) -
A man walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Asian stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday after a Federal Reserve board member said she was in no hurry to raise interest rates, reassuring investors who were worried that the rate hike could pull share prices lower. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A man walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Asian stocks mostly sagged Wednesday, although oil prices regained overnight drops, amid the possibility of a weaker global economy and guess work about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plans for interest rates.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.7 percent to close at 16,614.24. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed at 23,218.34. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.6 percent to 3,005.35. South Korean markets were closed for a national holiday. Shares were lower in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Markets are on the lookout for what the Federal Reserve might do on interest rates, weighing in various signs of possible economic recovery. Economists say December is the most likely time for the Fed to hike rates for the first time this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 258.32 points, or 1.4 percent, to 18,066.75. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 32.02 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,127.02. The Nasdaq composite lost 56.63 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,155.26.

“Another nail in the coffin overnight, as both OPEC and the International Energy Agency, revised their oil demand figures for 2017 down,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda.

The price of oil recovered some of its 3 percent overnight drop which followed the International Energy Agency’s remarks about oil demand because of a slowdown in the global economy. Benchmark crude rose 22 cents to $45.12 a barrel. It fell $1.39, or 3 percent, to $44.90 a barrel in New York Tuesday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, rose 18 cents to $47.28 a barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 102.89 yen from 101.98 yen late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1226 from $1.1233.