By Associated Press
BEIJING — Asian stock markets fell Wednesday after Australian inflation increased, highlighting global pressure for prices to rise, while investors looked ahead to U.S. economic growth data due out this week.
The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.94% lost 0.9% and the Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.00% in Tokyo sank 0.6%. The Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.09% in Hong Kong lost 1.6%.
The Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.78% in Seoul shed 0.9% while the S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.22% in Sydney was unchanged. New Zealand /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.05% , Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.16% and Jakarta /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.69% retreated while Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.32% gained.
Australia’s government reported its underlying inflation rate rose by 0.7 percentage points to 2.1% in the quarter ending in September. Fuel costs rose by a record 7.1%.
Investors worry rising inflation as economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic might put pressure on central banks to roll back economic stimulus that is boosting stock prices.
“A jump in Australian core inflation highlighted intensifying cost pressures in the global economy,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.
Investors were waiting for U.S. economic growth data due out Thursday that might influence whether the Federal Reserve changes its timeline for reducing stimulus.
The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.84% rose 8.31 points to 4,574.79. The index is up 21.8% for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.17% added 15.73 points to 35,756.88. The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -1.92% added 9.01 points to 15,235.71.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 47 cents to $84.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 89 cents on Tuesday to $84.65. Brent crude , the price basis for international oils, shed 33 cents to $85.32 per barrel in London. It closed 41 cents higher the previous session at $86.40.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.3287% declined to 114.03 yen from Tuesday’s 114.17 yen.