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BOSTON: The less-hawkish-than-feared Federal Reserve (Fed) policy decision will give risk assets in Asia a bounce, though investors should retain a defensive stance due to the threat of further policy tightening and capital outflows, according to strategists.
Analysts also warned investors not to expect an inflection point for the dollar as any pullback in the US currency is likely to be more of a pause.
They reaffirmed their view that Chinese assets are less exposed to US rate hikes, whereas Indian and South-East Asian assets are more vulnerable.
US policy makers raised their key interest rate by another 75 basis points on Wednesday and said they anticipate “ongoing increases” but stopped short of giving specific guidance of how far tightening will go. US stocks rallied after the announcement and the dollar weakened.
“It is too early to signal an all clear,” said Marvin Loh, a senior macro strategist at State Street Global Markets in Boston. “Expect that volatility will return, possibly in the fall, when inflation comparables would expect a rapid decline in prices.”,
“Within Asia, we are still in defensive mode, partly on policy tightening, but also a negative capital flows backdrop,” said Dwyfor Evans, head of Asia-Pacific macro strategy at State Street Global Markets in Hong Kong.
“For equities, we have growth concerns on South Korea, one to avoid, and we favour Taiwan on strong earnings, but we hedge out the Taiwan currency exposure and remain biassed toward long dollar versus Asia.”
“For the next six months I would certainly agree that there needs to be a bit of defensive asset classes across Asia,” said Hartmut Issel, head of Asia-Pacific equities and credit at UBS Wealth Management in Singapore.
“The region will probably follow mostly what the United States does also in terms of more tightening.” — Bloomberg