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Asian Stocks Mixed, Earnings Help Ease Inflationary Pressure Concerns

Stock MarketsOct 19, 2021 10:35PM ET
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By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Wednesday morning, with their U.S. equivalents finishing the previous session on an upward note. The latest corporate earnings also helped ease some of the concerns over global inflationary pressures.

China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.39% by 10:21 PM ET (2:21 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component inched down 0.03%. China released data, including the loan prime rate, earlier in the day.

Investors’ focus also remains on China’s regulatory tightening and China Evergrande Group's (HK:3333) debt woes, as well as the coal market as authorities study ways to curb rising prices and prevent shortages.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.51%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.61% and South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.23%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 rose 0.79%.

A deal could also be reached on U.S. President Joe Biden’s economic agenda within the week, which also boosted sentiment. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield climbed above 1.65%, and Australia’s 10-year yield jumped as much as 13 basis points.

Investors also continue to digest the latest company earnings to gauge the impact of supply-chain bottlenecks and higher commodity prices. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) raised a profit forecast and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) subscribers jumped, while Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) faced rising raw material and freight costs. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), and Tesla Inc (DE:TSLA) will all release earnings throughout the week.

Meanwhile, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said that although the U.S. central bank will likely begin asset tapering in November 2021, interest rate hikes are probably “still some time off” as he expects inflation to moderate.

“I don’t think the Fed is going to act or hike very aggressively in part because they have this inflation view, but also because we are going to be in a slowing growth environment by the end of 2022,” FlowBank SA chief investment officer Esty Dwek told Bloomberg.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will also participate in a policy panel discussion on Friday.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin is close to scaling the peak hit in April 2021, with the first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund listed in the U.S. debuting as the second-most heavily traded fund on record.

Asian Stocks Mixed, Earnings Help Ease Inflationary Pressure Concerns

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