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Most Asian markets rise as traders eye US inflation

Most Asian markets rose Monday, tracking a bounce on Wall Street at the end of a painful week for investors.

Image: © Digital Journal
Image: © Digital Journal

Most Asian markets rose Monday, tracking a bounce on Wall Street at the end of a painful week for investors, with eyes now on the upcoming release of key US inflation data.

Sentiment took a blow last week after Federal Reserve officials warned they wanted more evidence that prices were being brought under control fuelled worries they might not cut interest rates this year.

That was compounded by figures suggesting the world’s number one economy remained in rude health, despite borrowing costs being kept at two-decade highs.

But the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both benefited Friday from figures showing one-year expectations for prices edged down slightly while consumer sentiment picked up.

The positivity followed through to Asia, which was also boosted by news that profits at China’s industrial companies rose in April, having dropped the month before.

However, investors were a little more cautious as they try to assess China’s proposals to support the country’s troubled property sector.

Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Jakarta all rose, though there were some losses in Hong Kong, Manila and Wellington.

Focus is now turning to the release on Friday of the US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which is the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation.

The reading comes after the consumer price index edged down in April, having come in above forecasts for each of the previous three months.

Also coming up is the Fed’s Beige Book on the state of the economy, which will be pored over for an idea about the bank’s thinking on monetary policy.

Oil prices extended last week’s gains of more than one percent ahead of a key June 2 meeting of OPEC and other major producers, with expectations high that they will maintain output cuts.

“Based on current market expectations that OPEC+ is likely to extend cuts, oil’s risks are skewed to the upside,” said Qisheng Futures analyst Gao Jian.

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 38,758.96 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.2 percent at 18,576.34

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,097.54

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 156.76 from 156.93 yen on Friday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0854 from $1.0851

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2742 from $1.2735

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.15 from 85.17 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.2 percent at $77.88 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: UP 0.2 percent at $82.01 per barrel

New York – Dow: FLAT at 0.0 percent at 39,069.59 points (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 8,317.59 (close)

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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