Asian markets carve out gains ahead of U.S. inflation report

Investors in Asia-Pacific stock markets began shaking off their earlier caution ahead of the latest U.S. reading on inflation, which is likely to give some idea about whether the Federal Reserve will accelerate its pace of interest-rate increases.

Shares across the region started to eke out gains in the afternoon or pare losses after a subdued start, following overnight falls in heavyweight U.S. industrials.

Recent inflation reports from the U.S. have been sources of volatility in markets as investors try to guess the trajectory of Fed policy tightening.

It was only one month ago a surprise inflation print sent the market into a tailspin, said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia at currency broker Oanda.

Strong numbers this time could prompt the Fed to take a firmer stance against inflation, though if they are just slightly positive they will feed into a positive take on the economy and for markets, said David Gaud, chief investment officer for Asia at Pictet Wealth Management.

Read: What to watch in the CPI report

Japanese stocks
NIK, +0.66%
closed up 0.6%, after posting losses most of the morning. Gains in the yen eased a touch as investors took a largely sanguine view of continuing calls for the resignation of Finance Minister Taro Aso over his ministrys involvement in altering documents in a controversial land sale. The buyer of the land was a private-school operator allegedly tied to Prime Minister Shinzo Abes wife.

Tech stocks logged gains after Nasdaqs
COMP, +0.36%
record close overnight, its second in a row. Samsung Electronics
005930, +3.86%
was up 2.5% in Seoul, helping push up the Kospi
SEU, +0.42%
0.2%, while Taiwans Taiex benchmark
Y9999, +0.85%
gained 0.9%, buoyed by gains of 2% or more for Apple suppliers Largan Precision
3008, +2.28%
and Taiwan Semiconductor
2330, +1.97%

0700, +0.35%
was up a fraction after earlier falls, helping limit losses on the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong
0700, +0.35%

For a number of tech companies, the momentum is still there, said Pictet Wealth Managements Gaud. Particularly in China, names in the mobile-internet space remain favored. Overall in our strategies, we have maintained full exposure to those sectors.

On mainland China, Shanghai stocks
SHCOMP, -0.49%
were down 0.3% after news the country plans to merge its banking and insurance regulators. Beijing has previously tightened the screws on stock-market investing by companies in these two sectors. Stocks in Shenzhen
399106, -0.71%
were largely flat after regaining ground from a weak start.

Australias S&P/ASX 200
XJO, -0.36%
slipped led regional declines, falling 0.4% on weakness in major mining and oil stocks. BHP Billiton
BHP, +0.40%
BLT, +0.00%
BHP, -0.83%
and Rio Tinto
RIO, -1.96%
RIO, +0.29%
RIO, +0.00%
were down 0.8% and 2.0% respectively, while Woodside fell 0.3% after Mondays fresh drop in oil prices. Banks also took a hit from the start of an inquiry into financial industry misconduct.

Commodity prices were lower, with oil futures down 0.3%. In Hong Kong, Chinese oil explorer and producer Cnooc
0883, -2.07%
was down 2.4%.

New Zealand stocks traded higher throughout the day with the NZX 50
NZ50GR, +0.11%
ending at a second-straight record close.

S&P futures
ESM8, +0.16%
were up 0.05%, suggesting a muted start also for U.S. stocks.

Related Topics Asia Markets China Japan Australia Singapore Foreign Investment

Quote References NIK +144.07 +0.66% COMP +27.51 +0.36% 005930 +96,000.00 +3.86% SEU +10.37 +0.42% Y9999 +93.53 +0.85% 3008 +90.00 +2.28% 2330 +5.00 +1.97% 0700 +1.60 +0.35% SHCOMP -16.46 -0.49% 399106 -13.53 -0.71% XJO -21.40 -0.36% BHP +0.18 +0.40% BLT +0.00 +0.00% RIO -1.48 -1.96% 0883 -0.24 -2.07% NZ50GR +9.15 +0.11% ESM8 +4.50 +0.16% Show all references
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NIKKEI 225 Index Nikkei Idx: NIK 21,968.10 +144.07 (+0.66%)

Volume 0
Open 21,742
High 21,968
Low 21,701
P/E Ratio 0
Div Yield 0
Market Cap N/A

NASDAQ Composite Index U.S.: Nasdaq: COMP 7,588.32 +27.51 (+0.36%)

Volume 0
Open 7,581
High 7,609
Low 7,563
P/E Ratio 0
Div Yield 0
Market Cap N/A

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. S. Korea: KRX: 005930 2,583,000.00 +96,000.00 (+3.86%)

Volume 400.5K
Open 2,538,000
High 2,583,000
Low 2,518,000
P/E Ratio 8.61
Div Yield 3.33
Market Cap 356.9T

KOSPI Composite Index S. Korea: KRX: SEU 2,494.49 +10.37 (+0.42%)

Volume 345.5M
Open 2,483
High 2,494
Low 2,479
P/E Ratio 0
Div Yield 0
Market Cap N/A

Taiwan Weighted Index Taiwan: Y9999 11,095.63 +93.53 (+0.85%)

Volume 3.7B
Open 11,022
High 11,096
Low 11,015
P/E Ratio 0
Div Yield 0
Market Cap N/A

LARGAN Precision Co. Ltd. Taiwan: 3008 NT$4,045.00 +90.00 (+2.28%)

Volume 748.0K
Open NT$4,015
High NT$4,085
Low NT$4,010
P/E Ratio 21.07
Div Yield 1.57
Market Cap 517.8B

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Taiwan: 2330 NT$259.00 +5.00 (+1.97%)

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