Asian stock markets rose Tuesday after Wall Street hit a new high as investors looked ahead to U.S. and European inflation data.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.7 percent to 4,400.20 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent to 20,020.90. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.4 percent to 2,122.50 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.3 percent to 27,675.99. Taipei also gained. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 was unchanged at 5,660.40 and New Zealand declined.
DATA POINTS: The eurozone is due to report April inflation on Tuesday, with the consensus forecast calling for no change in consumer prices. Upward pressure on consumer prices could be a sign of strengthening economic growth and demand. U.S. data due out Friday are expected to show prices contracted by 0.2 percent, adding to last month’s 0.1 percent fall. Japan reports quarterly economic growth on Wednesday that might show its recovery picking up pace.
THE QUOTE: “At a time when most central banks are fighting the gravity of deflation, the slew of CPI numbers due this week may offer further clues as to which of the two key central banks have managed to engineer a quicker turn around in their economy,” said Nicholas Teo of CMC Markets in a report. “Those of the U.S. on Friday could set the tone for most capital markets in the days ahead.”
WALL STREET: The stock market crept to a record high Monday in a quiet session. The Dow Jones industrial average added 26.32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,298.88. The Standard & Poor’s rose 6.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,129.20 and the Nasdaq composite rose 30.15 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,078.44. While the S&P 500 has notched record highs for three straight days, strategists caution that it will be difficult for the stock market to move substantially higher from here.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 6 cents to $59.49 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 26 cents on Monday, declining for a third day to close at $59.43. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 15 cents to $66.12 after declining 54 cents on Monday to $66.27.
CURRENCIES: The dollar was little changed at 119.95 yen from Monday’s 119.96 yen. The euro declined to $1.1304 from $1.1320