Asian stocks rise tracking Wall St, CPI caution limits gains

  • Stock Market News
Asian stocks rise tracking Wall St, CPI caution limits gains
Credit: © Reuters.

By Ambar Warrick -- Most Asian stocks rose on Tuesday tracking some overnight strength in Wall Street, although caution in anticipation of more cues on the U.S. economy from key inflation data kept most bourses trading within a small range.

Technology stocks were the best performers for the day, tracking overnight gains on the Nasdaq. South Korea’s KOSPI and the Taiwan Weighted index added about 0.7% each, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.2%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.7%, recovering from recent losses as the government nominated academic Kazuo Ueda as the next Bank of Japan Governor. Ueda is expected to keep monetary policy - particularly the bank’s ultra-low interest rates - unchanged in the near-term, which is expected to provide an accommodative environment for Japanese stocks.

Local stocks also looked past data that showed that Japan’s economy grew less than expected in the fourth quarter of 2022, amid continued pressure from high inflation and waning overseas demand for Japanese goods.

Broader Asian stock markets edged higher, but gains were limited in anticipation of U.S. consumer price index (CPI) inflation data due later in the day. While the reading is expected to have eased further in January from the prior month, it is still expected to trend at relatively high levels.

Markets are also wary of any potential upside surprises in core inflation , which could give the Federal Reserve more impetus to keep raising interest rates.

Rising interest rates are likely to further pressure Asian stocks as foreign capital flows to the region dry up, and as regional central banks also tighten policy to keep pace with the Fed.

Indian stocks advanced on Tuesday, with the BSE Sensex 30 and Nifty 50 indexes adding about 0.4% each. Data showed on Monday that Indian CPI inflation grew more than expected in January, lending credence to the Reserve Bank’s hawkish statements last week.

The RBI is now expected to keep raising interest rates, which could spell a negative outlook for local stocks.

Australia’s ASX 200 index crept 0.2% higher, although data showed that local consumer sentiment deteriorated sharply in early-February. The trend could herald slower spending and a potential economic slowdown in Australia.

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