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Asia-Pacific Shares Mixed Ahead of US Inflation Data; Cyclicals Drive Japan’s Nikkei to More Than 31-Year High

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The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes traded mixed on Tuesday, with investors eyeing U.S. inflation data for more clues on when the Federal Reserve will begin reducing its massive stimulus.

Locally, investors remained on edge over China’s tightening grip on its technology companies and a widening liquidity crunch for the country’s most indebted developer.

Cash Market Recap

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index settled at 30670.01, up 222.73 or +0.73%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is trading 25501.32, down 312.49 or -1.21% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index finished at 3148.83, up 20.97 or +0.67%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3662.60, down 52.77 or -1.42% and in Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7437.30, up 12.10 or +0.16%.

US Consumer Inflation Data on Tap

The U.S. is scheduled to release its August report on consumer inflation at 12:30 GMT. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is expected to show core consumer prices rose 0.3% in August. Prices were up 0.3% the previous month and 0.9% in June. Economists expect annual inflation to ease slightly to 4.2% from 4.3% in July.

China Shares Fall as Evergrande Woes Weigh on Property, Financials

Chinese shares closed lower on Monday, dragged by real estate and financials after the country’s most-indebted developer warned of a risk of a cross-default.

Property developers tumbled 3.8%, while the financials sub-index shed 2.9% after cash-strapped China Evergrande Group warned of a risk of cross-default as real estate sales continued to plunge.

The developer’s struggles to quickly sell off assets and avert defaults on its massive liabilities are raising the risk of contagion for other privately-owned developers, fund managers and analysts say.

Japan’s Nikkei Ends at Over 31-year High as Cyclicals Shine

Japan’s Nikkei closed at a more than 31-year high on Tuesday, led by cyclical stocks tracking overnight Wall Street gains, while progress in domestic vaccine rollouts raised hopes for an economic reopening.

Sentiment was also boosted by hopes for an economic reopening as Japan is on track to reach the vaccination levels of the United States and Europe. The government said on Tuesday more than 50% of Japan’s population have been fully vaccinated.

South Korean Stocks End Higher Ahead of US inflation Data

South Korean shares ended higher on Tuesday, buoyed by foreign buying after overnight gains on Wall Street, while investors awaited U.S. August inflation data due at 12:30 GMT.

Among the heavyweights, chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rose 0.39% and 0.94%, respectively, while platform companies Naver and Kakao fell 1.35% and 0.40%, respectively.

Foreigners were net buyers of 294.0 billion won ($251.14 million) worth of shares on the main board.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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