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Asian Stocks Up, but Cautious Before Potential “Real Test” of Rising Inflation

Stock MarketsApr 12, 2021 11:35PM ET
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© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up Tuesday morning as investors await the U.S.’ consumer price index for March, due later in the day, to gauge the global economic recovery from COVID-19.

China’s Shanghai Composite inched down 0.02% by 11:23 PM ET (3:23 AM GMT) while the Shenzhen Component rose 1.23%. March's trade data released earlier in the day was better-than-expected, with exports growing 49% year-on-year, imports growing 38.1% year-on-year and the trade balance at USD116.35 billion.

The country will release further data, including first-quarter GDP, industrial production and fixed asset investment data, on Friday.

On the China-U.S. relations front, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will reportedly decline to name China as a currency manipulator in her first semiannual foreign exchange report, currently not finalized and due on Thursday. The move also allows the two countries to avoid a fresh round of tensions.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.44%, after the city dangled the prospects of relaxed restrictive measures for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.04%, South Korea’s KOSPI rose 1.16% and in Australia, the ASX 200 inched up 0.01%.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s Beige Book will be released on Wednesday, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will also speak at an Economic Club of Washington event on the same day. The U.S. will release retail sales as well as industrial production data Thursday.

The figures come as U.S. companies start releasing their first-quarter results throughout the week.

Meanwhile, companies vying for a tightly constrained global supply of semiconductors that has idled automakers globally were assured by U.S. President Joe Biden that both the Republican and Democratic parties will support government funding to address the shortage.

Concerns remain, however, on whether global stocks can retain their gains amid spiking numbers of COVID-19 cases in countries such as India and a vaccine rollout that has hit a bump in the road in several areas.

Investors also digested bond yields rising slightly after the U.S. Treasury’s auctions of three- and 10-year notes on Tuesday attracted decent demand. The Treasury will auction 30-year notes later in the day.

Some investors remained concerned about the potential for rising inflation and borrowing costs, however.

“The real test is going to be when inflation starts to move higher... that’s when rates will have to reprice either for a sooner Fed exit, or a later exit but a faster path,” TD Securities global head of rates strategy Priya Misra told Bloomberg.

Asian Stocks Up, but Cautious Before Potential “Real Test” of Rising Inflation
 

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