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Asian Stocks Up Ahead of U.S. Inflation Data

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By Zhang Mengying

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were up on Wednesday morning amid concerns about the economic outlook ahead of U.S. inflation data which might show inflation hit a fresh four-decade high.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.40% by 10:49 PM ET (2:49 AM GMT).

South Korea’s KOSPI jumped 0.89%. South Korea’s central bank delivered earlier in the day a historic half-point interest rate hike to bring down soaring prices.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched up 0.08%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.81%.

China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.16% while the Shenzhen Component was down 0.88%.

‘Treasuries were steady. The 10-year yield at one point Tuesday was 12.4 basis points below the 2-year rate, a level unseen since 2007. Oil extended the tumble to about $95 a barrel.

Investors now await U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) for more clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy path, which is due later in the day. Analysts predicted that the print would hit a pandemic peak in June from a year earlier, the largest jump since 1981.

“This is widely expected to be a really strong print,” New York Life Investments economist and portfolio strategist Lauren Goodwin told Bloomberg.

“Even if it is not, I don’t think that changes the Fed’s perspective in a couple of weeks. We won’t have enough evidence that inflation is convincingly turning over.”

The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecasts for the U.S. economy and warned that a broad-based surge in inflation poses “systemic risks” to both the country and the global economy.

In Asia Pacific, investors are worried about another round of COVID-19 lockdowns could harm the global economy.

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