Asia-Pacific markets are mixed ahead of China trade data
SINGAPORE — Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday ahead of China trade data and central bank decisions in the region. Investors will also be looking ahead to the U.S. inflation report for June.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.48%, and the Topix index gained 0.43%
In South Korea, the Kospi advanced 0.39% and the Kosdaq was 0.32% higher.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was 0.2% lower.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was just above the flatline.
Chinese trade data is due on Wednesday. A Reuters poll predicts that exports will grow by 12%, while imports will increase by 3.9%.
The Bank of Korea raised rates by 50 basis points for the first time, bringing the rate to 2.25%, Reuters reported. That’s in line with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll. The Korean won pulled back slightly, and stood at 1,308.97 against the greenback.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is set to increase rates by half a point as well.
Thailand’s stock exchange is closed for a holiday Wednesday.
Major indexes in the U.S. see-sawed during the trading day before closing lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 192.51 points or 0.62% to 30,981.33, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.92% to 3,818.80. The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.95% to close at 11,264.73.
The U.S. will report consumer price index data later Wednesday, and markets are expecting hot inflation, which would keep the Fed firmly on its hiking path.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 108.176 after briefly falling below 108.
The Japanese yen changed hands at 136.73 per dollar, strengthening slightly after trading beyond 137 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6745, struggling for gains after a recent slip.
The euro hit parity with the U.S. dollar on Tuesday for the first time in 20 years, with the common currency weakened by Europe’s energy supply concerns and economic troubles, while the safe-haven greenback has been supported by global growth worries.
The euro was last at 1.0032.
Oil futures declined in Asia trade. U.S. crude futures fell 1.28% to $94.61 per barrel, and Brent crude slipped 1.13% to $98.37 per barrel.
Both benchmarks settled more than 7% lower in the previous session.
— CNBC’s Samantha Subin, Sarah Min, Sam Meredith, Elliot Smith and Carmen Reinicke contributed to this report.
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