Inflation concerns, economic data, dollar moves

Inflation concerns, economic data, dollar moves

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets opened mixed on Wednesday, as investors remain cautious over growing inflation worries.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.46% in early trade while the Topix index was near flat. South Korea’s Kospi index slipped 0.09% while Down Under, the Australian benchmark ASX 200 fell 0.17% as major banking names came under pressure.

“The tech led equity rout that began on Monday’s US trading session extended into our APAC region yesterday and overnight Europe joint the retreat with some heavy losses,” Rodrigo Catril, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at the National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note.

“Inflation concerns against a backdrop of higher commodity prices was identified as the reason for the US technology led equity sell-off on Monday night,” he said. “That said looking at the data releases over the past 24 hours, one could argue that we had at least one more new evidence that inflation is on the rise.”

China released data on Tuesday that showed factory gate prices rose at the fastest rate in three and a half years in April while consumer prices rose at a more modest pace. That fueled some of the concerns around a rapid rise in inflation that may force central banks to raise interest rates and implement other tightening measures.

Wednesday’s session follows overnight sell-off stateside where the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced its worst day since February.

Currencies and oil

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded near flat at 90.197, declining from levels near and above 91.00 in the previous week.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 108.75 per dollar, strengthening from last week’s levels above 109.00. Meanwhile, the Australian dollar traded near flat at $0.7836.

Oil prices traded higher on Wednesday during Asian trading hours. U.S. crude futures rose 0.51% to $65.61 a barrel and global benchmark Brent added 0.45% to $68.86.

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