Asian Shares Drops Ahead of U.S. Inflation Report

Shares in Asia Pacific drops on Thursday as investors were waiting for inflation data from U.S due later stateside that could offer more clarity on whether the Federal Reserve needs restrictive monetary policy to lower inflation that is at multi-decade highs. Here are the details.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan was 0.6% lower at 26,237.42 and the Topix was down 0.77% at 1,854.61. Toshiba’s stock rose more than 9% after local media Kyodo reported a potential buyout and closed 7.38% higher. Japan’s yen strengthened after touching 146.98 per dollar.

South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.8% to 2,162.87 and the Kosdaq lost 2.99% to 651.59. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong traded 1.58% lower in the final hour of trade, with the Hang Seng Tech index down 3%.

Mainland China’s stocks gave up gains — the Shanghai Composite was down 0.3% at 3,016.36 and the Shenzhen Component shed 0.192% to 10,817.67. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.07% at 6,642.60.

Australian markets ended marginally lower, dragged down by mining and energy stocks. The big banks rose 2-3 percent, helping limit the downside in the broader market. Qantas surged 8.7 percent after the airline forecast stronger-than-expected first-half profit

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.03%. Thailand’s market is closed for a holiday Thursday.

Seoul stocks slumped on concerns that combative monetary tightening policies in major economies could tip the global economy into a recession. The Kospi fell 1.8 percent to 2,162.87, with heavyweights Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and LG Chem falling 1-3 percent.

U.S. stocks fell overnight, with the S&P 500 hitting its lowest close since November 2020.

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