• Asian stock markets sink after Wall Street rally fades

    By: JOE McDONALD, AP Business Writer

    BEIJING (AP) - Asian stock markets fell Friday after a post-election Wall Street rally faded amid expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes despite the Federal Reserve's decision to hold off this week.

    KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 2,614.37 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 retreated 0.7 percent to 22,338.26. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.8 percent to 25,753.23 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.4 percent to 5,903.20. Seoul's Kospi gave up 0.2 percent to 2,088.13 and benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also declined.

    WALL STREET: Coming off a surge the previous day, stocks slipped as a ninth straight daily decline in oil prices hurt energy companies. Banks gained after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. The Standard & Poor's 500 shed 0.3 percent to 2,806.83 after it jumped 2.1 percent Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 10.92 points to 26,191.22. The Nasdaq composite dipped 0.5 percent to 7,530.88.

    FED WATCH: The U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged but suggested it plans to keep raising rates in response to the strong economy. The Fed has raised its key rate eight times since late 2015 and is expected to do so again in December, with several more increases to follow.

    ANALYST'S COMMENT: "The sense that the Fed is well on track to continue tightening policy de-railed the post mid-term relief rally in the markets," said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in a report. The Fed cited a stronger job market and omitted mention of tighter financial conditions, "lowering the bar" for a December rate hike, said Varathan.

    ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 24 cents per barrel to $60.43 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $1 the previous session to $60.67. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 11 cents to $70.54 in London. It dropped $1.42 on Thursday.

    CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 113.86 yen from Thursday's 114.08 yen. The euro weakened to $1.1357 from $1.1365.

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