ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 2.8 percent to 20,392.58 after being down 3.2 percent at one point. The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.5 percent to 2,536.27 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave up 1 percent to 25,615.85. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.9 percent to 2,060.09 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 declined 1.3 percent to 5,505.80. India's Sensex lost 0.4 percent to 36,334.07. New Zealand and Malaysia advanced while Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets retreated.
FED WATCH: The Fed raised its key interest rate for a fourth time this year to reflect U.S. economic strength and said it plans more increases next year. That lifted the Fed's benchmark rate to its highest level since the 2008 global financial crisis. The Fed said it expects two rate increases next year instead of three. Investors were disappointed Chairman Jerome Powell failed to go further in indicating a slowdown in the pace of increases.
WALL STREET: Stocks gave up a rally and plunged, sending the market to its lowest level since September 2017. The Dow and S&P 500 both lost 1.5 percent. The Nasdaq composite gave up 2.2 percent. ANALYST'S TAKE: With headwinds to growth and inflation stabilizing, "the Fed can afford to slow down from here," said Shane Oliver of AMP Capital in a report. "A more cautious Fed should provide some support for markets although more falls are possible into early next year before markets bottom and head higher as investors realize the US/global economy is not going into recession soon."
CHINA LENDING: Beijing unexpectedly announced a 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) lending program to support entrepreneurs. Financial analysts said the "targeted easing" appears to be aimed at shoring up economic growth without reigniting a rise in national debt levels.
JAPAN INTEREST RATES: Japan's central bank, as was widely expected, left its short-term policy rate unchanged at a negative 0.1 percent and its 10-year bond yield target at 0 percent. The bank's economic outlook was optimistic but said it would keep rates "extremely low" for an extended period.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.12 to $47.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.57 on Wednesday to close at $48.17. Brent crude, used to price international oils, retreated $1.09 to $56.15 per barrel in London. It gained 98 cents the previous session to close at $57.24.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 111.89 yen from Wednesday's 112.44 yen. The euro gained to $1.1430 from $1.1375.