Asia-Pacific shares notch gains as U.S. inflation data remains firmly in spotlight

Soegeefx AppsAsia MarketAsia-Pacific shares notch gains as U.S. inflation data remains firmly in spotlight

Lee Ying Shan

Asia-Pacific shares notched gains as investors look ahead to the U.S. consumer price index report Thursday. Economists expect inflation to have cooled in December, which could signal to the Federal Reserve that previous interest rates hikes have had their intended effects.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 traded up 0.59% in its first hour of trade.

The Nikkei 225 rose 0.22%, while the Topix climbed 0.21%. Similarly, the Kospi advanced 0.58% and the Kosdaq added 0.53%.

.N225 Nikkei 225 Index *NIKKEI 26461.34 15.34 0.06
.HSI Hang Seng Index *HSI 21436.05 0 0
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 *ASX 200 7275.8 80.5 1.12
.SSEC Shanghai *SHANGHAI 3161.84 0 0
.KS11 KOSPI Index *KOSPI 2362.55 3.02 0.13
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX *CNBC 100 8381.04 44.29 0.53

China and India’s inflation data for December are also slated for release. Australia will also report its trade data for November.

Overnight on Wall Street, major stock indexes closed higher. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the inflation print to show that prices cooled by a modest 0.1% in December from November.

Cryptocurrencies trade higher as Binance announces hiring spree

Cryptocurrencies gained after crypto exchange Binance announced it is planning to increase its staff by between 15% and 30% in 2023.

Bitcoin was 2.78% higher at $17,932.69, according to data from Coin Metrics. Ether last traded 3.86% higher to stand at $1,388.98.

Binance’s move stands in contrast to rivals like Coinbase, Kraken and Huobi, which have laid off huge swathes of staff amid a crypto downturn.

—Lee Ying Shan

Stocks close higher as investors gear up for Thursday’s inflation reading

Stocks finished higher Wednesday as investors optimistically positioned ahead of Thursday’s CPI report.

The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.8%, notching a four-day streak. A rally with that length has not been seen in the tech-heavy index since September. The Dow ended up more than 260 points, or 0.8%.

The S&P 500 added 1.3%. All 11 of the broad index’s sectors ended the day up, led by real estate with a 3.6% gain.

— Alex Harring

Natural gas hits low not seen since 2021

Natural gas hit a low in Wednesday trading not seen since 2021.

The commodity slid 1.1% to $3.598. It fell at one point to $3.442. That’s a low not seen since June 24, 2021, when natural gas dropped to $3.415.

Natural gas has fallen 18.9% since the start of 2023.

— Gina Francolla, Alex Harring

Fed gauge shows inflation could be running hotter than the Street expects

Thursday’s consumer price index report could show inflation running at a hotter pace than Wall Street expects, according to a Cleveland Fed gauge.

The central bank’s Inflation Nowcasting tracker is pointing to headline CPI increasing at a 0.1% monthly pace, while core, excluding volatile food and energy prices, is indicating a 0.5% gain.

Both numbers are ahead of the Dow Jones consensus estimates for a decrease of 0.1% on headline and gain of 0.3% on core.

On an annual basis, the Cleveland Fed model is pointing to a 6.6% headline gain and 5.9% for core, compared to respective Dow Jones estimates of 6.5% and 5.7%.

—Jeff Cox

Source : cnbc

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