By Associated Press
SINGAPORE — Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday ahead of U.S. inflation data offering a glimpse at how the world’s largest economy is recovering.
The Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -2.80% in Tokyo rose 0.7% and the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.33% added 0.3%. The Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.77% in South Korea gave up 0.4%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.06% was up 0.4% and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.03% advanced 0.4% to 7,594.50. Stocks rose in New Zealand /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -1.58% rose but fell in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.10% and Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.82% .
Analysts are expecting the latest U.S. headline inflation rate, due Wednesday, to grow at a slower pace of 5.3% in July from a year earlier. This is slightly lower than June’s 5.4%.
“A higher-than-expected reading may suggest inflation being more persistent and increase the risk of an earlier tapering timeline from the Fed,” said Jun Rong Yeap of IG.
Where the price increases lie matters, too. While the previous highlights were air travel fares and used cars, the larger determinant for inflation may be food and housing.
Traders will watch for the continued growth of food and housing prices, Yeap said.
They are also contending with the coronavirus delta variant’s spread in Asia, which has resulted in travel restrictions being reimposed in China. Parts of Japan, including Tokyo, the capital, remain under a state of emergency.
Over on Wall Street, financial and industrial companies helped lift the market, amid a pullback in technology stocks.
The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.84% recovered from an early slip and added 0.1% to 4,436.75. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -1.51% rose 0.5% to 35,264.67. The tech-heavy Nasdaq /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -2.60% slipped 0.5% to 14,788.09.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 13 cents to $68.16 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude , the price standard for international oils, shed 12 cents to $70.51 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.1492% rose to 110.64 yen from Tuesday’s 110.54 yen.
“A strong reading in the headline and core U.S. Consumer Price Index could keep supporting the USD in the short term,” Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a report.
“It might put some pressure on U.S. yields, which could change the global market flows for the weeks ahead as traders might have to review U.S. inflation expectations and reprice the Fed’s future actions,” he added.