Asian Stocks Mixed as Wall Street Extends Rally Overnight, Markets Await UK Inflation Report

Asian shares were mostly higher on Wednesday, following two days of gains on Wall Street thanks to positive U.S. corporate profits, while traders anticipated British inflation figures later in the day for signs on how hawkish central banks need to be to combat inflation.

As of 9.24 a.m. Thai time, the Nikkei 225 in Japan added 0.72% and the yen remained above 149 against the U.S. dollar. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.59%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.57%. 

Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slipped 0.85%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.35%.

Gains in U.S. stocks continued overnight for a second day on the back of positive earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 30,523.80, up 337.98 points, or 1.12%. The S&P 500 advanced 1.14% to 3,719.98. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.90%, finishing at 10,772.40.

After prolonged COVID lockdowns and political turbulence, Hong Kong leader John Lee will deliver his inaugural policy statement today. His speech is anticipated to focus on rebuilding the city’s reputation as a worldwide commercial hub and on housing.

Since early 2020, China’s COVID-19 restrictions have caused havoc on the city, damaging businesses, halting tourism, and spurring the departure of expats.

Lee on Tuesday emphasized the significance of Hong Kong relaunching itself, referencing a recent speech by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in which he promised to help Hong Kong “resolve deep-seated concerns and problems in economic and social growth” and strengthen its “international position” in banking, trade, and other sectors.