SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Concerns about interest rate highs and mounting inflation kept buyers at bay on Asian markets on Friday.
"Everyone is really nervous right now. It's because everything is potentially going to come under pressure from aggressive Fed policy," Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG in Melbourne told Reuters news agency Friday.
"There's the hope that it'll be a slow and painless handoff to normal policy," he said. "But that's not necessarily assured with the Fed taking inflation so seriously."
To add to regional woes, the South Korean central bank on Friday lifted official interest rates by 25 basis points from 1 percent to 1.25 percent, a level not seen since prior to the pandemic.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 finished Friday with a deficit of 364.85 points or 1.28 percent at 28,124.28.
The Australian All Ordinaries tumbled 80.40 points or 1.03 percent to close at 7,717.10.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 46.45 points or 0.18 percent to 24,383.32.
China's Shanghai Composite lost 34.00 points to 0.96 percent to 3,521.26.
Surprisingly the U.S. dollar continued to lose ground. The euro nudged up to 1.1480. The British pound appreciated to 1.3736. The Japanese yen surged to 113.70. The Swiss franc rose to 0.9096.
The Canadian dollar jumped to 1.2492. The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose only modestly, to 0.7286 and 0.6868 respectively.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite was the worst-hit index, shedding 381.58 points or 2.51 percent to 14,806.81.
The Standard and Poor's 500 slumped 67.32 points or 1.42 percent to 4,659.03.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed a 200-points gain to end 176.70 points or 0.49 percent lower at 36,113.62.