Asian Shares Largely Down as Traders Look to Key Economic Data

Most markets in Asia-Pacific opened down on Tuesday as investors looked ahead to trade data and inflation readings from China and the U.S. to provide an updated picture of the state of the global economy.

As of 9.23 A.M. Bangkok time, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index tumbled 1.87%, while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China fell 0.44%. 

The Nikkei 225 edged marginally lower as household expenditure in Japan fell for the fourth consecutive month. Official figures revealed that annual household consumption dropped 4.2% in June, down from May’s 4% drop.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.10%, while South Korea’s Kospi inched down 0.30%.

As investors continued to process stronger-than-expected earnings, all three main U.S. indices rose overnight. FactSet reports that 85% of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly earnings, with roughly 80% exceeding analysts’ projections.

The 30 component stocks of the Dow rose 1.2%, the most since June 15. The S&P 500 finished 0.9% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended losing streaks of four sessions of losses.

China and the United States are scheduled to release trade data and inflation data on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, and investors are expecting to see significant disparities in price movement among the two countries.

Reuters’ poll of economists predicts a further drop in China exports in July, down 12.5% from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, inflation in the U.S. likely increased to 3.3% on an annual basis in July, according to a Reuters survey of experts, but the core rate remained stable at 4.8%. According to ANZ’s forecasts, China’s consumer price index for July will be down 0.4% from a year ago.