Asian indices were broadly lower early Thursday, with the exception of New Zealand and the Philippines, following a sell-off on Wall Street overnight as US crude tumbled to near six-year lows. Meanwhile, the Federal Open Market Committee stuck to its vow to be “patient” on hiking interest rates and raised its view of the economy and labor market, even as the central bank anticipates a further decline in inflation. Overnight, US stocks declined as the energy sector expanded losses after US crude settled down USD 1.78 at USD 44.45, its lowest since March 2009. Brent crude oil for March delivery was down USD 1.22 at USD 48.38 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 1.1 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.9 percent. The S&P 500 fell 1.4 percent, a day after it took its biggest hit in more than three weeks.
ASIAN MARKET UPDATE