Asian markets mixed as inflation fears weigh

Asian stocks were mixed on Monday as inflation fears and concerns about low economic growth weighed on markets.

Investors will be looking to the release on Wednesday of notes from the latest Federal Reserve committee meeting for clues on further rate hikes by the U.S. central bank.

Wall Street ended the week essentially flat after the S&P 500 had briefly dipped into a bear market, with the index down about 19 percent from its January high.

A Chinese interest rate cut did little to cheer Asian markets, with investors concerned about continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

Downcast earning reports from retailers have also heightened market uncertainty at a time of rising interest rates, surging energy prices and Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, which is driving commodity prices higher.

In Asian trade Monday, Tokyo climbed by 1.3 percent while Hong Kong slipped by 1.5 percent and Shanghai was down 0.5 percent.

Seoul, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok were higher while Singapore and Manila were down and Sydney was flat following a weekend election that saw the center-left Labor party end a decade of conservative rule.

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