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Asia markets fall after Fed holds rates, but signals higher rates for longer

This is CNBC's live blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.

In a photo taken on November 4, 2019 a subway train crosses a rail bridge over the Han river, before the skyline of the Yeouido business district of Seoul.
Ed Jones | Afp | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets fell across the region after the U.S. Federal Reserve held its benchmark policy rate, but said it will raise interest rates one more time this year, according to the central bank's projections.

Projections showed the central bank expects to hike rates to a median of 5.6% by the end of 2023, up from the current range between 5.25% and 5.5%.

The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee projected two rate cuts in 2024, which is two fewer than its forecast in June. That would put the funds rate around 5.1%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.37% and closed at 7,065.2, its lowest level since July 10.

Japan's Nikkei 225 is also slipped 1.37% as the Bank of Japan starts its two-day monetary policy meeting, ending the day at 32,571.03. The Topix was down 0.94% and closed at 2,383.41.

South Korea's Kospi was 1.75% lower, leading losses in Asia and finishing at 2,514.97, its lowest level in almost a month. The Kosdaq closed 2.5% down at 860.68, also at its lowest level since July 10.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 1.34%, while mainland Chinese markets are also down for a third straight day, with the CSI 300 losing 0.9% and closing at 3,672.44.


Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes lost ground as investors digested the Fed's moves, with the Nasdaq Composite leading losses and down 1.5%, dragged by names like MicrosoftNvidia and Google-parent Alphabet.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.94% , while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.22%.

— CNBC's Jeff Cox, Jesse Pound and Alex Harring contributed to this report.

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The stock was one of the few gainers on the Hang Seng, and the only gainer among major tech names as the broader index sold off after the U.S. Federal Reserve's signal that rates will be higher for longer.

The new phone will be shipped on Sept. 28.

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—Lim Hui Jie

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New Zealand economy expands more than expected in second quarter

New Zealand's gross domestic product expanded 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in the three months ended June, more than the 0.5% growth expected by economists.

The figure also followed a revised 0.0% growth rate in the first quarter, which means the country was not in a technical recession. The previous reported figure was -0.1%.

On a year-on-year basis, GDP climbed 3.2%, higher than the previous quarter's 2.9% expansion and also higher than the 3.1% expected by the Reuters poll.

— Lim Hui Jie

Hybe shares slide over 4% even as all members of BTS renew contracts

Shares of K-pop agency Hybe slid over 4% in early trade even as the company reported that all members of boy group BTS have renewed their contracts with Bighit Music, a subsidiary of Hybe.

The share price drop is largely in line with the decline in the broader Kospi index, which fell 1.07% on Thursday.

The seven member boy group debuted in 2013, and all renewed their contracts in October 2018. While the label did not announce when the new contract will end, South Korean media cited a Hybe statement saying "all of BTS will be together after 2025."

— Lim Hui Jie

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"We're now seeing e-commerce related activity pick up on media platforms hitherto less associated with online retail," they said in a Sept. 15 note.

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Fed leaves rates unchanged, expects one more hike this year

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day meeting Wednesday.

However, the central bank signaled it still expects one more hike before the end of the year and fewer cuts than previously indicated next year. The final increase, if realized, would be the last in this cycle, according to the Fed's projections.

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Notable shift in interest rate markets pushes out first 2024 rate cut by Fed

The probability that the Fed will cut interest rates early in 2024 is seen as increasingly unlikely, based on 30-Day Fed Funds futures pricing data in the CME's FedWatch tool.

One month ago, the chance that the Fed would cut a quarter point to 5.0-5.25% in January stood at more than 21% — today it's less than 1%.

One month ago, the odds of a quarter point reduction by the March 2024 meeting were 34.2% and the chance of a half-point reduction was 10.2%. Today, pricing data shows those odds have fallen to 9.5% and 0.1%, respectively.

— Scott Schnipper

Dow joins other indexes at session lows

The Dow joined the other two major indexes in trading at sessions lows as Federal Reserve Chair Powell spoke. It has been a mainly positive day, with the session low still placing the blue-chip average around 0.1% up on the day.

— Alex Harring

Nvidia extends month-to-date loss to 13.1% and decline since 52-week high to almost 15%