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Asian Stocks Up, China’s November Factory Gate Inflation Eases

Stock MarketsDec 08, 2021 09:27PM ET
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By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Thursday morning, with investors digesting the latest Chinese inflation data and the impact of the new omicron COVID-19 variant on the economic recovery.

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.39% by 9:04 PM ET (2:04 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component was up 0.21%.

Data released earlier in the day showed that the consumer price index (CPI) grew 2.3% year-on-year and 0.4% month-on-month in November. The producer price index grew 12.9% year on year.

Investors also continue to monitor China’s property sector, with a group of Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. (HK:1638) bondholders close to signing non-disclosure agreements with the developer. The move could pave the way for discussions around a potential financing deal for the company.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.03%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged down 0.19%. South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.57%, with the number of COVID-19 cases in the country exceeding 7,000 for the first time on Wednesday.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched up 0.01%, with Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe speaking earlier in the day.

U.S. Treasury yields climbed, with the benchmark 10-year rising above 1.50% after a 10-year note auction.

Initial lab studies showed that a third dose of the Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)/BioNTech SE (F:22UAy) COVID-19 vaccine could be needed to neutralize omicron. Pfizer will have data that will show how well the vaccine prevents omicron infections before the end of 2021, said Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla. He added that a third booster dose will hopefully “do the job” in restoring high levels of protection.

Investors now await more clarity on omicron’s risk to the economic recovery, the U.S. CPI on Friday, and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision, which will be handed down next week. But until then, some are bracing for more volatility.

“We are looking to potentially have a rise in volatility even if the market continues higher around those events next week. Many of the catalysts that gave us this boom out of COVID-19 are slowing. And then you have the Fed potentially tapering into a decelerating economy,” Optimal Capital portfolio strategist Frances Stacy told Bloomberg.

Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari will speak later in the day.

Asian Stocks Up, China’s November Factory Gate Inflation Eases

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