Asian stocks fall on weak United States data and oil price slump

Stocks were also weighed down as Brent crude remained under 47 USA dollars a barrel, down another 0.1% at 46.84 United States dollars and languishing at the lowest level for almost a year.

The Fed raised interest rates for the second time this year, by a quarter percentage point to a target range of 1.00-1.25 percent.

"The fact that the Fed is tightening against the backdrop of slowing inflation implies that the market continues to price in policy error", Jabaz Mathai, head of US rates strategy at Citigroup Inc., said in a note.

Investors appeared rattled that the Bank of England came close to raising interest rates sooner than many had expected, and by reports the special counsel appointed to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign is now examining whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice. While the Fed describes its stance as "accommodative" to spur further strengthening in labour market conditions and a sustained return to 2% inflation, the Reserve Bank of India has said that its "neutral" poise is meant to continue support for economic expansion while ensuring price stability.

Wall Street's top banks brought forward their expectations for when they think the Fed will begin reducing its $4.5 trillion bond portfolio to as early September, and see balance sheet reduction as more of a priority than another interest rate rise, a Reuters poll showed.

At around 10am, the Straits Times Index was trading 0.6 per cent lower, dragged down by banks.

Among automakers, Toyota is declining 1 percent and Honda is down 0.4 percent. Platinum dropped 1.9% to $918, having hit the lowest in over a month at $913.50, while palladium shed 0.5% to $858.70 per ounce after rallying by 25% so far this year. Competitor Supervalu fell 16 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $3.90.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,222.89 points, closed at 31,075.73 points - down 80.18 points or 0.26 per cent from its previous close at 31,155.91 points.

"Long-term Fed expectations remain very much supported".

"They have taken a cautious approach to balance sheet normalisation, but they have begun it and it's definitely a tightening of policy. That is the main reason why the dollar is remaining supported for now", Credit Agricole currency strategist Manuel Oliveri said.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.36 yen from 109.53 yen. Greece also hopes to get a broad deal on debt relief at a meeting Thursday of finance ministers from the 19-country eurozone. The euro edged up to $1.1219 from $1.1217.

Germany's 10-year government bond yield, the benchmark for the region, rose 1 basis point to 0.24 percent, off a seven-week low hit on Wednesday at 0.225 percent. Brent for August settlement slipped 7 cents to US$46.93 a barrel on the London-based ICE exchange.

  • Zachary Reyes