Asian shares fall to lowest in 15 months

Stock markets in Asia have tumbled to their lowest in nearly 15 months after America’s central bank chief confirmed widely expected plans to increase interest rates this year

With investors also concerned about political tensions between Russia and Ukraine, supply chain problems and rising oil prices

The prospect of sustained increases in the cost of borrowing by the world’s most powerful economy sent a spasm of anxiety through financial markets on Thursday

The Nikkei in Japan led the way as it plunged more than 3% while the Kospi in Seoul found itself in similarly negative territory

The drop echoed a sharp reversal in US shares on Wednesday. The S&P 500 closed 0.14% lower and the Nasdaq Composite finished barely higher

The market in Hong Kong was off 2.5% and Sydney shed nearly 2%