Asian Stocks Mixed as Investors Brace for U.S. Inflation Data

Stock markets in Asia and Pacific were mixed on Thursday as investors awaited the release of U.S. consumer price index data for July later today, which could signal the Federal Reserve’s next move.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.31% as of 9:34 am in Bangkok. The country’s wholesale inflation rate, which is a gauge of the prices companies charge each other, fell to 3.6% in July from a revised 4.3% in June.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was slightly up from its flatline level, while the Kospi in South Korea was down 0.34%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell by 0.33% while the Shanghai Composite in Mainland China rose by 0.34%.

Overnight in the United States, all three major indexes fell, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropping the most, 1.17%. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw losses of 0.7% and 0.54%, respectively.

The U.S. inflation rate for July is due to be released later Thursday, and according to a Reuters poll of analysts, they anticipate a reading of 3.3%, up from 3% in June.

While the headline figure is projected to rise slightly due in part to increased oil prices, core inflation is expected to fall, continuing a downward trend that Bloomberg Economics predicts will support a rate pause when the Fed next meets in September.