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U.S. inflation, Covid omicron cases, currencies


SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Thursday as Wall Street saw gains despite a red-hot inflation report that set market expectations for rate hikes. The World Health Organization also warned about Covid concerns. omicron cases are “off the charts.”

Japan was among the top losers in the region. Nikkei 225The Topix fell 0.8%, after jumping almost 2% on Wednesday. As a result, major retailers have lost ground. Seven & IAnd it fell to 3.68% Fast Retailing lost 1.53%.

In South Korea, there are KospiThe decrease was 0.15%

Shanghai was flat and Shenzhen sank 0.77%. Hong Kong Hang Seng indexThe trend was bucked by rising 0.2%

But, Chinese property developers have shares SunacIts shares plunged by more than 15% following a filing in which it announced that it will sell 452,000,000 new shares at 10 Hong Kong dollar per share to Sunac International Investment Holdings, its controlling shareholder.

The sale of 4.52 billion Hong Kong dollar ($580m) will generate 4.52 trillion Hong Kong dollars. According to the company, 50% will go toward repaying loans and the rest will be used for corporate purposes.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.6%. The major mining companies and financial services saw increases. Rio TintoThe increase was 3% BHPIt was up by 4%

Taiwan is the leader in earnings TSMCOn Thursday, the company will report its fourth quarter results.

Investors should also be keeping an eye out for Covid developments. The World Health Organization has reported that there were 15 million Covid-19 new cases worldwide in a week. Omicron is rapidly replacing delta across the globe.

Inflation in the spotlight

Data on Wednesday showed thatThe U.S. saw an increase of 7% in inflation during December. This is the highest level since 1982. However, stocks roseYet, the report is not conclusive.

The S&P 500 added roughly 0.28% to 4,726.35, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.23% to 15,188.39 for its third straight positive day. Dow Jones Industrial Average saw modest gains and small losses throughout the session but ended up with 38.3 points or 0.11% gain at 36.290.32.

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That inflation data, which comes amid already-rising prices in recent months, set the stage for a case for hiking rates, said ANZ Research analysts Brian Martin & Daniel Hynes said in a Thursday note.

“US CPI inflation hits 7.0% y/y in December and is likely to be in the 7–8% range for several months yet – reinforcing the need for interest rate hikes by the Fed, starting in March,” they wrote. For 2022, the Fed is committing to reducing inflation as its top priority.

Oil and Currencies

It U.S. dollar indexOvernight, a currency exchange that tracks the greenback’s performance against its peers fell to new lows at 95.1. This was a level not seen since November. It was last at 94.988 during Asia hours — continuing its decline from levels above 95 in the past week.

It Japanese yenIt traded at 114.54 dollars per dollar after strengthening from levels of 115 during the previous sessions. It was at 114.54 per dollar, up from 115 in the previous sessions. Australian dollarIt climbed to $0.7279 after reaching its highest level overnight in November.

“[Australian dollar]The strong Australian retail sales as well as building approvals have helped to support the pair.  The main supporter of AUD/USD is, however, the weaker USD, especially overnight,” Joseph Capurso of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (head of international economics) wrote in a note.

After they were released, oil prices rose marginally in Asia. hit two-month highs on Wednesday on tight supply. Brent rose slightly to $84.75 a barrel while crude U.S. oil was unchanged at $82.69 a barrel