BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets fell on Wednesday after rising inflation in Australia, highlighting global pressures driving prices higher, while investors awaited US growth data due this week.
Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong retreated.
The Wall Street S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% on Tuesday to its second high in two days thanks to strong profit and loss statements from some large companies.
Core inflation in Australia rose 0.7 percentage points to 2.1% year on year in the three months ended September, the government said. Fuel costs rose by a record 7.1%.
Investors are worried about rising inflation as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, which could put pressure on central banks to abandon economic stimulus that drives stock prices up.
“The surge in core inflation in Australia has highlighted increased price pressures in the global economy,” said ActivTrades’ Anderson Alves in his report.
Investors were waiting for data on US economic growth due out on Thursday, which could affect whether the Federal Reserve will change its timing to reduce stimulus.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.9% to 3,564.71, while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.5% to 28,952.59. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong lost 1.5% to 25,642.01 points.
The Kospi in Seoul fell 0.9% to 3022.84, while the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney added less than 0.1% to 7.445.80.
India’s Sensex opened 0.1% higher at 61,444.52. New Zealand, Jakarta and Bangkok retreated while Singapore won.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 8.31 points to 4,574.79 points. The index is up 21.8% for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 15.73 points to 35,756.88. Composite Nasdaq added 9.01 points to 15,235.71 points.
UPS shares jumped 6.9%, the largest gain in the S&P 500 on higher-than-expected third-quarter earnings thanks to higher shipping rates. Hasbro rose 3.2% after the maker of transformers, My Little Pony and other toys reported strong financial results.
Chipmaker Nvidia rose 6.7%. Healthcare stocks and several companies that rely on consumer spending on goods and services have also made significant strides. UnitedHealth Group is up 1.2% and Amazon.com is up 1.7%.
Facebook shares fell 3.9% after investors provided a weak sales forecast.
General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Boeing Co. and Coca-Cola Cos. Were supposed to report on Wednesday. Apple Inc. and Amazon Inc. will follow on Thursday.
In energy markets, US benchmark oil lost 58 cents to $ 84.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 89 cents to $ 84.65 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the reference price for international oil prices, fell 4 cents to $ 85.21 a barrel in London. It closed 41 cents higher than the previous session at $ 86.40.
The dollar fell to 113.98 yen from 114.17 yen on Tuesday. The euro rate rose to $ 1.1605 from $ 1.1598.