Asian Markets Mixed as Investors Digest Strong Economic Data from U.S.

Asian shares traded mixed on Wednesday as investors awaited the announcement of China’s May industrial profits amid conflicting reports of strong economic conditions in the United States and other countries.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.06% as of 9.30 AM Bangkok time, as the country’s weighted inflation rate in May came in lower than predicted at 5.6%. Reuters’ survey of economists predicted a drop in inflation to 6.1% from April’s 6.8% reading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.67%.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.47%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong lost 0.61% after rising over 2% on Tuesday. China’s industrial profits dropped 18.8% in the first five months of 2023, causing mainland Chinese markets to also be in the red.

The Shanghai Composite was down 0.94%.

All three major U.S. indices increased overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its first rise in seven days, an increase of 0.63%.

The S&P 500 rose 1.15%, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.65%

Bond prices fell as the probabilities of future rate hikes were priced into the market due to a combination of strong U.S. data and hawkish comments from the European Central Bank.

All the more eyes will be on a panel featuring Jerome Powell, the head of the Federal Reserve, Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank, and Kazuo Ueda, the governor of the Bank of Japan, later in the day in Portugal.