Asia stocks take a step back as the US Fed lifts interest rates, Nikkei backing into ¥22,800

  • Stocks slide on rate hike from the US Fed, traders fear rising rates may begin to punch out profits.
  • Central bank action isn't done for the week, ECB QE decision is likely in-bound.

Asia stocks are down across the board for Thursday following the US Fed's rate hike on Wednesday. The 25 bps rate hike put equities in the red as traders balk at the prospect of rising rates, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index testing back towards 22,800.00.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is set to deliver their latest rate decision as well, and if the central bank decides to accelerate their plans to begin exiting quantitative easing programs, global markets could knock further back as equities flee rising costs.

The Australian ASX is faring better than the rest, currently only down -0.07% on the day, while the Shanghai Composite sits at -0.30% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is -0.60% in the red. Japan's Topix index is down -0.40%, while the Nikkei 225 has declined by over -0.50% for Thursday.

Nikkei levels to watch

The Nikkei 225 has stumbled away from the major 23,000.00 psychological handle twice this week, and bulls are forced to watch as the key index slips away from the last major high set in May (23,044.00); a bullish turn around from current support just below the 22,800.00 would leave the index free to challenge the year's highs near 24,200.00, but If bears resume taking control, then the Nikkei could easily slip backwards into the last swing low at 21,900.00.

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