Asian Markets Higher On US Inflation Data

Asian stock markets are trading mostly higher on Thursday, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, as traders reacted softer-than-expected US consumer price inflation data that raised speculation the Fed will slow the pace of interest rate hikes at its September meeting. Asian Markets closed mostly lower on Wednesday.

“Today’s inflation report might lead the Fed to downshift the size of its rate hikes to 50bps in September,” said Kathy Bostjancic, Chief U.S. Financial Economist at Oxford Economics.

CME Group’s FedWatch tool is currently indicating a 56.5 percent chance of a 50 basis point rate hike and a 43.5 percent chance of a 75 basis point rate hike.

The Australian stock market is significantly higher on Thursday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 breaking above the 7,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with the gains led by resources and technology stocks as traders reacted to tamer than expected US inflation data, raising speculation that the Fed will slow the pace of interest rate hikes at its September meeting.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 48.80 points or 0.70 percent to 7,041.50, after touching a high of 7,077.10 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 56.90 points or 0.79 percent to 7,295.60. Australian stocks ended modestly lower on Wednesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group, Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Rio Tinto and Mineral Resources are edging up 0.5 percent each.

Oil stocks are mostly lower. Woodside Energy is losing 1.5 percent and Origin Energy is down almost 1 percent, while Santos is edging up 0.2 percent. Beach energy is flat.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block is soaring almost 9 percent, WiseTech Global is adding 2.5 percent, Xero is gaining more than 3 percent, Appen is advancing almost 4 percent and Zip is surging more than 5 percent.

Among the big four banks, National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging up 0.4 percent each, while ANZ Banking is gaining almost 1 percent. Commonwealth Bank is edging down 0.2 percent.

Among gold miners, Northern Star Resources is gaining more than 1 percent, Evolution Mining is adding almost 1 percent and Resolute Mining is adding advancing almost 2 percent. Newcrest Mining and Gold Road Resources are flat.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.707 on Thursday.

The Japanese stock market is closed on Thursday on account of Mountain Day. Japanese stocks closed modestly lower on Wednesday.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 133 yen-range on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are up between 1.0 and 1.6 percent each, while New Zealand, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are higher by between 0.4 and 0.9 percent each.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Wednesday with traders reacting positively to highly anticipated consumer price inflation data. The rally more than offset the weakness seen in the previous session, with the major averages reaching three-month closing highs.

The major averages all finished the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow jumped 535.10 points or 1.6 percent to 33,309.51, the Nasdaq spiked 360.88 points or 2.9 percent to 12,854.80 and the S&P 500 surged 87.77 points or 2.1 percent to 4,210.24.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index jumped by 1.2percent, the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.5 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday, lifted by data showing a bigger-than-expected drop in gasoline inventories in the U.S. last week. A weak dollar and increased demand for gasoline also contributed to the jump in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended higher by $1.43 or 1.6 percent at $91.93 a barrel.

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