Asian Stocks Mostly Surge as Investors Await Key Inflation Reports

Shares in Asia mostly rose on Monday as investors awaited this week’s key inflation reports, such as the U.S. consumer price index and the beginning of another corporate earnings season.

As of 9.28 A.M. Bangkok time, South Korea’s Kospi was 0.34% higher. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.11%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.53%, with mainland Chinese markets also all higher. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.45% and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.56%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan, meanwhile, fell 0.75%.

On Friday, U.S. markets closed lower across the board due to concerns that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.55%, while the S&P 500 shed 0.29% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.13%.

The June employment data from the Labor Department on Friday showed a slower pace of growth than in May. The increase in nonfarm payrolls was 209,000, while the unemployment rate was 3.6%.

The week started with reports that China’s consumer price index was flat in June compared to a year ago, marking its lowest level since February 2021. Meanwhile, annual producer price declines logged in at 5.4%, the biggest drop since December 2015.

Later this week also marks the beginning of earnings season in the U.S., with major companies including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, State Street, and PepsiCo reporting.

Headline inflation in the United States is expected to drop to 3.1%, the lowest level since the beginning of 2021, while core inflation is expected to decrease to 5.0%.

The markets still expect a rate hike from the Federal Reserve this month, but a weak CPI could reduce the likelihood of a rate hike in September.

After wrapping up her trip to Beijing, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the discussions she had there were “direct” and “productive,” and that they had helped to put bilateral relations on a “surer footing.”