Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Shares in Asia-Pacific mixed as data shows Chinese producer inflation surging in March

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed Monday morning as investors reacted to Chinese inflation data for March.

Chinese stocks led losses regionally following the data release, with the Shanghai composite down 1.12% while the Shenzhen component shed 1.591%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.72%.

China’s producer inflation for March was higher than expected. The producer price index surged 8.3% as compared with a year ago, official data showed Monday, above expectations for a 7.9% increase in a Reuters poll.

Chinese consumer inflation also rose more than expected in March, with the consumer price index climbing 1.5% year-on-year. That was above expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.2% increase.

The data release comes as mainland China has been fighting to control its worst wave of Covid since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.

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Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.23% while the Topix index shed 0.18%. South Korea’s Kospi hovered fractionally higher.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.44%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.71% lower.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.786 after recently crossing the 100 level.

The Japanese yen traded at 124.38 per dollar, weaker as compared to levels below 123.2 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7444 following last week’s drop from above $0.763.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.59% to $101.15 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.67% to $96.62 per barrel.

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