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Singapore, Malaysia stocks fall as Fed minutes spook investors

SINGAPORE (Nikkei Markets) -- Singapore and Malaysian shares fell Thursday, tracking U.S. markets, after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed the authority may start paring its $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year.

The Nikkei Asia300 index declined after minutes of the March meeting indicated that the Fed could unwind its balance sheet later this year if the economy continues to perform in line with expectations. Such a move could put upward pressure on U.S. bond yields and hurt demand for equities. Following the minutes, some analysts changed the outlook for U.S. federal fund rates this year and expectations as to when the Fed will start reducing its balance sheet.

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