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Asian markets trade mostly lower in early deals on Thursday

Most of the Asian equity benchmarks are trading lower in the early deals on Thursday, tracking the overnight fall in crude oil prices and the mixed cues from Wall Street after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected. The Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise fed funds to between 1 percent and 1.25 percent, and will start 'gradual' shrinking of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet 'this year.' Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average fell in choppy trade after weak US inflation data overshadowed an interest hike by the Federal Reserve. Among the other Asian markets, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Taiwan are also in negative territory. Bucking the trend, Malaysia is higher.

Nikkei 225 declined 58.16 points or 0.29% to 19,825.36, Hang Seng decreased 274.22 points or 1.06% to 25,601.68, KOSPI Index dropped 13.93 points or 0.59% to 2,358.71, Taiwan Weighted slipped 8.59 points or 0.09% to 10,063.87, Jakarta Composite contracted 8.42 points or 0.15% to 5,784.48, Shanghai Composite dipped 3.49 points or 0.11% to 3,127.19, and Straits Times was down by 19.53 points or 0.60% to 3,233.90.

On the flip side, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was up by 0.4 points or 0.02% to 1,792.75.

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