Asian Markets Plunge Thursday

Asian markets sustained losses across the board Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve failed to offer a new pandemic economic stimulus plan.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index finished 0.6% lower. Both the S&P/ASX index in Australia and South Korea’s KOSPI index closed down 1.2%. Shanghai’s Composite index lost 0.4%, while Taiwan’s TSEC index dropped 0.8%.In late afternoon trading, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1.6% lower, while Mumbai’s Sensex was down 0.7%.Europe was also off to a rough start of its trading day, as London’s benchmark FTSE index and the DAX index in Frankfurt were 0.9% lower, while the CAC-40 in Paris is down 0.8%.In commodities trading, gold was trading at $1,949.90 an ounce, down 1%. Crude oil was trading at $39.86 per barrel, down 0.7%, and Brent crude oil was selling at $41.97 per barrel, down 0.5%.Wednesday’s announcement by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that interest rates would remain near zero until at least 2023, while offering no additional stimulus measure, shook U.S. indices, with the S&P 500 losing 0.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropping 1.3%. The Dow ticked up slightly by 0.1%.All three U.S. indices were trending negatively in futures trading.

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