Sunday, May 19, 2024

Asia markets largely lower as investors assess China inflation data, await Japan GDP print

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Illuminated skyscrapers stand at the central business district at sunset on November 13, 2023 in Beijing, China.

Vcg | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets were largely lower Monday as investors assessed China’s stronger-than-expected April inflation data.

China’s consumer price index climbed 0.3% year on year, beating Reuters’ estimates of a 0.2% rise.

The producer price index, however, fell 2.5% year on year, more than the estimated 2.3% drop.

The data highlight for the week will be Japan’s first-quarter GDP, which is expected to have contracted an annualized 1.5%, according to a Reuters poll, likely jeopardizing the Bank of Japan’s plans to raise interest rates.

India’s inflation figures will also be out late Monday, with economists polled by Reuters expecting inflation in the world’s fifth largest economy to slow slightly to 4.8% in April, down from March’s 4.85%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.13% lower at 38,179.46 and the broad-based Topix fell 0.15% to end at 2,724.08.

South Korea’s Kospi ended flat at 2,727.21, while the small-cap Kosdaq fell 1.13% to close at 854.43.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 closed flat at 7,750.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.76%, while mainland China’s CSI 300 index fell marginally to finish at 3,664.69.

China’s finance ministry said Monday it would start sales of long-term special treasury bonds worth 1 trillion yuan ($138.24 billion) this week.

On Friday in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched an eighth consecutive winning session and registered its best week of 2024. The 30-stock index added 0.32% during the session.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.16% and the Nasdaq Composite inched lower by 0.03%.

Consumer sentiment data released Friday morning showed a big uptick in inflation expectations, reining in Investor enthusiasm.

The preliminary May reading for the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index came in at 67.4, far below a Dow Jones estimate of 76 and marking its lowest reading in about six months.

— CNBC’s Pia Singh and Sarah Min contributed to this report.

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