Asian Shares Rise after US Reports Cooler-than-Expected Inflation

Asian markets were up on Wednesday, following a second day of gains on Wall Street due to a US inflation print that came in lower than expected ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later that day.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong increased by 0.71% as of 9.22 AM (Thai time). The Shanghai Composite Index was relatively unchanged on the Chinese mainland as traders awaited news of a crucial economic policy meeting that had been delayed.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.79% while the Kospi in South Korea advanced 0.76%. 

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.43% higher.

A widely-used inflation gauge showed a smaller increase than predicted in November, giving some reason to believe that inflationary pressures in the United States may be easing.

The index climbed 7.1% year on year, less than the 7.3% gain predicted by Dow Jones. Prices increased by 6% on a yearly basis, below the projected 6.1% growth rate, when food and energy costs were removed.

Investors are now looking forward to the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate announcement following its two-day policy meeting. After four consecutive 0.75% hikes, investors are expecting a modest slowdown to a 50-basis point increase.