Asian stock indices fell following yesterday's US indices performance. Yesterday, the Federal Open Market Committee released the Fed meeting minutes on the 15th and 16th of March. Fed officials reached a consensus that they would begin reducing the central bank balance sheet of holding bonds by $95 billion a month, likely beginning in May. The minutes showed the tendency of members to conduct rapid monetary tightening.
The dollar rose against a basket of currencies yesterday, benefiting from the minutes of the Federal Reserve meeting, before returning to make some bearish corrections today. Gold is trading within a limited range amid a strong dollar, while there is also a demand for safe haven assets to hedge against inflation and geopolitical tensions.
Oil prices fell sharply yesterday after the International Energy Agency agreed to release strategic reserves, and yesterday's US Energy Information Administration report showed that commercial inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels. On the other hand, prices rose today, supported by market concern about supply and the persistence of geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe.
Despite the euro and the pound rising against the dollar, growth-related currencies such as the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar remained under heavy bearish pressure, affected by fears of faltering global economic growth with the Corona lockdowns in China and Russian-Ukrainian geopolitical tensions.