Asian markets lower on growth, virus concerns

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Asian markets edged lower on Friday as investors weighed concerns over economic growth and virus outbreaks and risk aversion set in following dovish comments from the Federal Reserve chief.

Fed Chair Jay Powell reiterated the central bank’s plan to maintain stimulus initiatives until the economy fully recovers while Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that inflation would remain elevated for months to come.

“I think we will have several more months of rapid inflation, so I’m not saying that this is a one-month phenomenon,” Yellen said during an interview on CNBC after US markets closed.

However she predicted price increases would reach “normal levels” over the medium term.

Wall Street ended mixed, with the Dow closing marginally higher while the other two major indexes retreated.

“US stocks tumbled after a second day of Fed Chair Powell’s dovish testimony didn’t provide any fresh catalysts to buy risky assets,” said OANDA’s Edward Moya.

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