Asia stocks mixed, oil down as traders fret over recession

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Asian markets were mixed and oil fell as traders fret over a possible recession caused by central bank interest rate hikes aimed at fighting soaring inflation.

After the S&P 500’s worst January-June since 1970, Wall Street got the second half off to a healthy start Friday as a below-forecast reading on US manufacturing provided hope banks will not go on an extended period of monetary tightening. That followed a drop in confidence among consumers — a key driver of the world’s top economy.

“While the data is suggesting a US economic slowdown is coming, we are not yet seeing signs of an ease in inflationary pressures, an important distinction given the Fed will continue with its aggressive tightening approach until it sees evidence of the latter,” he said in a commentary.—AFP

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