Global stocks were heading for their biggest drop in two weeks and emerging market currencies also slipped on Friday as a confident U.S. central bank and weak Chinese data hit demand for risky assets.
While the decision to hold rates was anticipated by markets, some participants had expected a more cautious approach from the central bank after a stock market rout in October.
But the Fed indicated a December increase is a distinct possibility in a robust economy. That contrasts sharply with China, where cooling producer price inflation and falling car sales suggested an economy struggling to gain traction.
“Worries about trade wars and how the slowdown in China will impact the rest of the world mean stocks appear to be more risky, so there’s a typical risk-off move in markets today,” said DZ Bank rates strategist Pascal Segesser.
Stocks in Hong Kong and China were the main losers in Asia, where a financial sector sub-index .CSI300FS fell more than 2 percent after China’s banking watchdog told lenders to allocate at least a third of new loans to private companies, raising the prospects of a jump in bad assets.