Asian stock markets showed a mixed picture on Tuesday. In Japan, where investors returned from a long weekend, the Nikkei index ended with a clear loss. In Hong Kong, the Hong Cheng index overturned its previous losses and moved higher. Investors are cautious in anticipation of key US inflation data later this week.
If inflation continues to rise, the US Federal Reserve will decide to raise interest rates quickly to curb currency depreciation. Higher interest rates mean rising borrowing costs for some emerging economies with dollar-denominated debt.
Investors are also considering the implications of further easing the unprecedented incentive to help economies through the crisis. The rapid spread of the omega-3 variant of the corona virus puts further strain on already shattered supply chains and creates further inflationary pressures.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the US economy was growing at a rapid pace and that the central bank would prevent further inflation from continuing. In his comments before his Senate hearing, he also warned that the economy would be different after the epidemic.
The Nikkei index ended the session with a loss of 0.9 percent. In Hong Kong, the lead indicator was slightly higher. Shanghai is down 0.5 percent. Cosby closed just below its final level on Monday. All Ordinaries in Sydney lost 0.8 per cent on pressure from major selling bank stocks.
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