Asia Market News: Nikkei Slides Again on Rising Producer Prices

ASX200 Daily Chart 120324

Economic indicators from Australia failed to distract investors from the upcoming US CPI Report. The AUD/USD was up 0.05% to $0.66167 despite better-than-expected business confidence figures.

The NAB Business Confidence Index slipped from +1 to 0 in February. Economists forecast a drop to -1.

According to the February Survey,

  • Forward orders declined, while trading and profitability improved midway through the first quarter.
  • Employment conditions improved, though labor costs remained steady.
  • Notably, final product prices and retail prices trended higher.

The upward trend in retail prices will likely draw the interest of the RBA, which left a rate hike on the table in February.

Hang Seng Index Unfazed by Upcoming US CPI Report

The Hang Seng Index enjoyed a positive start to the Tuesday session, gaining 0.98% to 16,750. Consumer price inflation numbers from China resonated, with the Hang Seng extending gains from the Monday session.

However, the Hang Seng eased back from an early high of 16,810. Investor caution before the US CPI Report may test buyer demand for Hang Seng-listed stocks later in the session.

Tech and real estate stocks contributed to the early gains. The Hang Seng TECH Index and Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index advanced by 1.56% and 2.36%, respectively. Alibaba Group Holdings Limited (9988) and Tencent Holdings Limited (0700) were up 1.37% and 2.30%, respectively.