SINGAPORE — Asian markets were mostly higher on Tuesday, though Chinese benchmarks fell after the government reported inflation rose for the fourth straight month.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.3 percent to 22,317.06. The Kospi in South Korea recovered 0.1 percent to 2,145.71. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which has fallen 22 percent since early January, slipped another 0.2 percent to 25,396.19. The Shanghai Composite dropped 0.2 percent to 2,564.24. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,859.20. Shares rose in Taiwan, and Indonesia but fell in Singapore and Thailand.
Technology companies skidded and misses in corporate earnings pulled most U.S. indexes lower for the seventh time in eight days. The S&P 500 index dropped 0.6 percent to 2,750.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4 percent to 25,250.55, and the Nasdaq composite skidded 0.9 percent to 7,430.74. But the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was 0.4 percent higher at 1,553.09.
The National Bureau of Statistics said China’s consumer price index gained 2.5 percent in September from a year earlier, supported largely by fresh food prices and in line with market expectations. This follows a 2.3 percent increase in August. The country’s producer price index gained 3.6 percent from a year earlier, slowing from the previous month. Rising inflation is a double-edged sword. The central bank has tended to shrug off rising prices, but the trend could limit its room for loosening monetary policy in coming months.
“There’s a calming of the markets. This is not an all-clear but a consolidation at lower levels,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said in an interview. “News that President Trump and Xi may meet at the G-20 summit has added to optimism that the trade dispute between the U.S. and China could be resolved,” he added.
Oil futures continued to rise on tensions in Saudi Arabia, a major oil producer, surrounding the disappearance and suspected murder of a journalist. Rising prices will squeeze bit Asian importers. U.S. crude added 7 cents to USD$71.85. The contract rose 0.6 percent to close at $71.78 in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 25 cents to $81.03. It gained 0.4 percent to $80.78 in London.
The dollar strengthened to 111.99 yen from 111.78 yen late Monday. The euro fell to $1.1576 from $1.1580.
Story: Annabelle Liang