TOKYO – Asian shares eased on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and took a more hawkish tone in forecasting a slightly faster pace of tightening, while concerns about U.S.-China trade frictions kept investors on edge.
Chinese retail sales and urban investment data were surprisingly weak, pouring cold water on investors’ risk appetite and adding to uncertainty over the world’s second-largest economy after its central bank unexpectedly left interest rates on hold.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS lost 0.5 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 was off 1.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI dipped 0.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 shed 0.4 percent.