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Asia report: Markets mixed as Japan's import prices jump

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 14 May 2024

Asia report: Markets mixed as Japan's import prices jump

(Sharecast News) - Asia-Pacific markets saw a mixed performance on Tuesday, influenced by Wall Street's stumble overnight, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped an eight-day winning streak.
Investors in the region also grappled with fresh local data, including corporate inflation numbers out of Japan.

"Asian equity markets showed a mix of performance, while European futures displayed moderate softness," said TickMill market analyst Patrick Munnelly.

"The global spotlight remains fixed on inflation, with anticipation surrounding today's release of US producer price data and tomorrow's consumer price report, as investors gauge potential shifts in central bank policies for the year."

Munnelly noted that US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell was scheduled to deliver a speech later in the global day.

"In the UK, attention is drawn to the latest monthly labour market figures, particularly wage growth."

Markets in a mixed state after lacklustre Wall Street session

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 edged up by 0.46% to 38,356.06, while the Topix rose by 0.25% to 2,730.95.

Leading the gainers on Tokyo's benchmark was Furukawa Electric, up 18.64%, followed by Obayashi with a 13.39% gain, and Eneos Holdings, which added 10.76%.

Meanwhile, China's markets experienced slight declines, with the Shanghai Composite slipping by 0.07% to 3,145.77, and the Shenzhen Component dipping by 0.05% to 9,668.73.

AA Industrial Belting Shanghai and Guizhou Redstar Developing were among the notable losers, falling 5.66% and 5.54%, respectively.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index saw a modest decline of 0.22% to 19,073.71, led lower by Xinyi Glass, down 9.79%; Galaxy Entertainment Group, off 3.92%; and Hang Lung, which lost 3.62%.

In South Korea, the Kospi inched up 0.11% to 2,730.34, with the top gainers including DB Insurance and Lotte Chemical, which added a respective 5.36% and 5.19%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index dipped 0.3% to 7,726.80, with Fletcher Building down 4.18% in Sydney trading, and Homeco Daily Needs losing 3.52%.

Similarly, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 saw a decline of 0.29% to 11,618.09, with construction conglomerate Fletcher Building at the top of the loserboard in Wellington as well, falling 4.73%, while Argosy Property lost 3.51%.

In currency markets, the dollar was last up 0.15% on the yen to trade at JPY 156.45, while it rose 0.03% against the Aussie to AUD 1.5138.

The greenback meanwhile weakened 0.13% on the Kiwi, last changing hands at NZD 1.6599.

Oil prices saw minor declines, with Brent crude futures slipping 0.19% on ICE to $83.20 per barrel, and the NYMEX quote for West Texas Intermediate decreasing 0.2% to $78.96.

Import prices rocket in Japan, consumer inflation decelerates in India

In economic news, fresh data from the Bank of Japan revealed that corporate inflation remained stable in April compared to the same period last year, while import prices saw a significant surge.

Import prices in April soared 6.4% year-on-year, marking the largest increase since March 2023, driven by weakness in the yen.

Japan's corporate goods price index (CGPI) showed a 0.9% year-over-year rise last month, mirroring the figures from March.

That slight uptick exceeded the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who had forecasted a 0.8% increase.

Meanwhile, in India, the consumer price index expanded by 4.83% year on year in April, slightly lower than the 4.85% recorded in March, marking the fourth consecutive month of deceleration.

Despite the slowdown, the figure marginally surpassed economists' expectations, who had anticipated a 4.8% rise, according to Reuters polling.

India's statistics ministry reported that inflation in rural areas surged more prominently, reaching 5.43%, while urban inflation stood at 4.11%.

Additionally, the ministry noted a cooling trend in inflation for clothing and footwear, housing, and fuel compared to the previous month.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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