Asian Shares Edge Mostly Higher as Traders Focus on U.S. Inflation Data, Fed’s Rate Decision

Asian markets continued in mixed trading on Tuesday, following a positive session on Wall Street, as investors focused on crucial U.S. inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later this week. 

The Nikkei 225 index in Japan gained 1.64% and hit a new 2023 high as of 9:31 AM Bangkok time.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.30%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia returned from a holiday with a small gain.

After four consecutive days of gains, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong opened Tuesday down by 0.64%, while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China dropped 0.26%.

The S&P 500 rose to its highest level in 13 months overnight as traders anticipated the Federal Reserve’s June meeting.

The S&P 500 added 0.93%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.56% on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.53%, the most since April of 2022.

Investors will be looking to the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Tuesday and the Producer Price Index (PPI) data on Wednesday to gauge the efficiency of the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle in containing inflation.

Expectations for a pause in Fed tightening for the first time since January 2022 and for CPI and PPI to come in lower than the prior month likely contributed to the market index’s advances, analysts said.