Asian stocks down as US Fed hints at interest rate hike

<p>Fed officials have become less concerned about the slowing down of the economy overseas. </p>

Asian stocks traded lower today (October 29th) on speculation that the US Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as soon as December.

Fed officials suggested at the end of a two-day meeting yesterday that they had become less concerned in recent weeks about the slowing down of the economy overseas. 

They signalled that they will assess if it was time to raise rates at their next meeting.

In September, the Fed left short-term rates unchanged amid worries about weak growth abroad, particularly in China.

Meanwhile, unexpectedly strong Japanese industrial output data dimmed expectations of additional easing from the Bank of Japan.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.6 per cent to 22,819.94, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.3 per cent to 5,266.90 and South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.4 per cent to 2,034.16. Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.2 per cent at 18,935.71 and China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 per cent to 3,387.32. 

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