Asia-Pacific markets set for lower open; Australia and Japan inflation readings expected

In Asia

A cafe at the Royal Arcade, Bourke Street Mall, in Melbourne, Australia.

Education Images | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets are set to open lower on Monday, ahead of inflation data from Australia and Japan later this week.

Special attention will be paid to Australia’s May consumer price index figures on Wednesday, after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Michelle Bullock 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.

Futures for Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 stood at 7,765, slightly lower than its last close of 7,796.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures pointed to a weaker open for the market, with the futures contract in Chicago at 38,495 and its counterpart in Osaka at 38,490 compared to the previous close of 38,596.47.

Hong Kong Hang Seng index futures were at 17,968, lower than the HSI’s last close of 18,028.52.

On Friday in the U.S., the S&P 500 ticked lower as shares of market bellwether Nvidia pulled back for a second day.

Nvidia shares declined 3.2%. On Thursday, the stock hit an all-time high before closing more than 3% lower. 

Overall, the S&P fell 0.16%, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.18%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.04%.

“Technology stocks continue to be in the spotlight,” said Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management. “I can’t remember a time when one single stock … has been so influential on the market, and that’s really been a key driver of the market action as of late.”

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

Read More: Asia-Pacific markets set for lower open; Australia and Japan inflation readings expected

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