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Economy

Fed rate hike is a predictable drama

Asian central bankers should not overreact as region is in good economic shape

| North America
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference in Washington on March 21.   © Reuters

The U.S. Federal Reserve's latest rate increase has triggered the usual wave of drama-filled commentary. "A double-edged sword for markets," said the CNBC business news channel on its website, warning of "a more aggressive rate-hiking path in the future."

Investors wavered as they digested the news of the quarter-point rise in short-term rates to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% and the Fed's signal of bigger future hikes than had previously been expected. The Dow Jones stock index, up 130 points early on Wednesday, was 250 higher soon after the Fed announcement, before it closed almost 45 points down at 24,682. "A whipsaw," said one commentator.

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