(Reuters) – Asian shares eased on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and struck a more hawkish tone by forecasting a slightly faster tightening, while concerns about weak Chinese data and U.S.-China trade frictions kept investors on edge.
Surprisingly weak Chinese retail sales and urban investment data curbed investors’ risk appetite by adding to doubts over the world’s second-largest economy as its central bank unexpectedly left interest rates on hold rather than follow the Fed higher.
European shares are expected to fall, with spread-betters looking at a lower opening of 0.4 percent in Britain’s FTSE .FTSE, 0.3 percent in Germany’s Dax .GDAXI and 0.2 percent in France’s CAC .FCHI.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS lost 1.0 percent, with shares in South Korea .KS11 and Taiwan .TWII falling over one percent.
Japan’s Nikkei .N225 lost 0.6 percent while in mainland China, Shanghai composite index .SSEC is on course to hit a 20-month closing low, shedding 0.4 percent.