Asia-Pacific markets mostly lower ahead of Australia’s May inflation figures

In Asia

Sydney Harbour taking in the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and ferries at sunrise during the COVID-19 pandemic on April 20, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.

James D. Morgan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets mostly opened lower Wednesday as investors anticipate Australia’s inflation numbers for May and Singapore’s May manufacturing output data.

Australia’s weighted inflation rate is expected to come in at 3.8% in May, according to a Reuters poll of economists. This is higher than the 3.6% recorded in April.

The reading comes after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Michelle Bullock recently revealed the central bank discussed hiking rates at its last meeting. Should inflation come in higher than expected and spur the RBA to raise rates, it would be the first major Asia-Pacific central bank to do so in an environment where investors are waiting for rate cuts, barring Japan.

The RBA has two inflation readings to consider — June 26 and July 31— before its next meeting on Aug. 6.

Singapore’s May factory output will also be released Wednesday, with a Reuters poll of economists predicting a 2% year-on-year growth rate, as compared to a 1.6% decline recorded in April.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 opened 0.63% lower Wednesday.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.26% in early trade while the broad-based Topix was down 0.17%. South Korea’s Kospi opened 0.38% lower while the small-cap Kosdaq was 0.38% higher.

Hong Kong Hang Seng index futures were at 17,958, lower than the HSI’s last close of 18,072.9.

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined, shedding 0.76%, closing at 39,112.16. Led by an Nvidia rebound, the broad market S&P 500 added 0.39% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.26%, with both indexes ending three-day losing streaks.

— CNBC’s Hakyung Kim and Samantha Subin contributed to this report.

Read More: Asia-Pacific markets mostly lower ahead of Australia’s May inflation figures

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