Asian shares, emerging currencies tumble on Fed anxiety
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Emerging Asian currencies took a battering and regional shares tumbled to six-week lows on Wednesday as mixed signals from Federal Reserve officials raised fresh concerns about an imminent rollback of the U.S. central bank's asset-buying stimulus. Foreign banks sold the currency despite the central bank's surprise rate hike in the previous session, sending it down as much as 0.7 percent to 11,670 per dollar. The Indian rupee slumped to a two-month low after surging consumer prices sparked fears the central bank would continue to raise interest rates and undermine economic growth at a particularly vulnerable time for the currency. "Pockets of firm U.S. data will reignite QE (quantitative easing) tapering concerns, pulling dollar higher and vulnerable Asian currencies lower," said Radhika Rao, economist with DBS in Singapore.