Asian stocks mixed after Wall St falls on inflation fears

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Beijing: Asian stock markets retreated Wednesday as investors looked ahead to US data they worry will show inflation is picking up.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Southeast Asian markets declined. Hong Kong advanced.

Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.9 per cent amid concern inflation might accelerate, hampering an economic recovery and dragging on share prices.

More US inflation were due out Wednesday. Investor concern is increasing following a price rise for industrial materials including copper and crude oil.

Asian equities traded sideways following a lackluster session on Wall Street, where risk sentiment prevailed amid inflationary concerns, Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a report. This week’s data are “essential for investors worldwide as US markets are the primary benchmark for risk assets globally.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost less than 0.1 per cent to 3,439.57 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.6 per cent to 28,439.52. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.5 per cent to 28,016.71.

The Kospi in Seoul tumbled 1.6 per cent to 3,158.78 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney sank 0.6 per cent to 7,056.30. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also declined.

On Wall Street, banks and energy companies led a broad pullback Tuesday.

The S&P 500 fell to 4,152.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 1.4 per cent in its worst day since February. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.1 per cent to 13,389.43.

Commodity prices have been rising, particularly for industrial metals such as copper and platinum, as well as for energy commodities like gasoline and crude oil.

Big technology companies were among the biggest decliners for a second day. Tech stocks get most of their valuation from future profits that might be less valuable if they are eroded by inflation. (Agency)