Fed rate hike: Chairperson Janet Yellen says it is “appropriate” in the coming months
Investors have taken to profit-taking amid rate hike fears Reuters

Most Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Tuesday (15 November), with the Shanghai Composite down 0.27% at 3,201.74 as of 4.52am GMT, following renewed Fed rate hike fears.

Investors reportedly fear that the US Federal Reserve would increase interest rates in its December policy meeting. "The implied probability of a December rate hike has surged to 92%, so this morning we saw some profit taking and unwinding of activities," Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets, was quoted as saying by CNBC.

A few analysts said the other reason for the bearish trend was the surge in the US dollar. They added that investor confidence in equities was also low as they were expecting higher inflation in the US amid a possibility that Donald Trump would implement fiscally expansionary polices.

"Most economists are focusing on either the higher US interest rates and a likelihood of a somewhat more aggressive Fed tightening cycle, or the possibility of a dramatically more stimulative fiscal stance. We see the combination (the policy mix) as an exceptionally potent force that will continue to propel the dollar higher," Brown Brothers Harriman analysts were quoted as saying by Reuters.

Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5.02am GMT:

CountryIndexPriceUp/Down%Change
Hong KongHang Seng Index22,330.13Up0.49%
JapanNikkei 22517,667.04Down0.03%
South KoreaKOSPI1,974.37Down0.01%
IndiaBSE26,461.51Down1.33%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,326.60Down0.36%

Overnight (14 November), the FTSE 100 closed 0.34% higher at 6,753.18, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.11% at 18,868.69

Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the green. While Brent Crude was trading higher by 1.62% at $45.15 (£36.16) a barrel, WTI crude oil was trading 2.01% higher at $44.19 a barrel as of 5.09am GMT.