Most Asian Shares Drop as U.S. Inflation Shows More Signs of Easing

Shares in most Asian markets lost ground on Friday following U.S. data indicating a decline in inflation.

As of 9.46 A.M. Bangkok time, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.13%, along with South Korean markets. The Kospi lost 0.50%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.21% before the release of GDP data for the first quarter, while mainland Chinese markets were all lower. The Shanghai Composite fell 0.50%, and the Shenzhen Component inched down 0.60%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225, meanwhile, rose 0.73%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both closed down by 0.66% and 0.17%, respectively, overnight in the United States as Disney shares dropped by more than 8.00% the day after the media giant announced its fiscal second-quarter results.

As investors continued to process economic data, worries about regional banks lingered. Alphabet’s share price is now very close to its best level since August, contributing to a 0.18% increase in the Nasdaq Composite.

Claims for unemployment benefits in the United States hit a 1-1/2 year high last week, and producer price inflation slowed to its slowest annual pace in over two years, both of which point to a possible more sudden downturn in the world’s largest economy.

After falling 0.4% in March, the Producer Price Index rose 0.2% in April, missing the 0.3% predicted by the Dow Jones. Excluding food and energy costs, core PPI also increased by 0.2%.

The report bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve would halt rate hikes at its June policy meeting, with futures markets continuing to price in cuts of around 78 basis points by the end of the year.