BANGKOK (AP) Stocks were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after the S&P 500 index hit a new record despite a surge in consumer prices in the United States in May.
Shanghai fell, Tokyo stagnated, while stocks rose in Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney.
On Thursday, Wall Street posted gains as bond yields mostly fell despite the eagerly awaited report showing consumer prices rose 5% in May, the biggest year-over-year increase since 2008 and more than economists expected.
Investors have also reacted positively to more data showing continued improvement in the labor market.
The concern is that if signs of inflation persist, central banks may withdraw stimulus measures in the economy to ease price pressures.
But investors continue to buy into the Federal Reserve’s position that the current inflation surge is transient, OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley said.
Financial markets have long elevated a selective use of facts to an art form, Halley said in a report. Although inflation measures in the United States rose again and slightly above expectations, actual increases were lower than those recorded in April.
Considering all the factors, this was all the street needed to return to their happy place to buy everything.
In Asia, where Sino-US tensions are among the many factors weighing on sentiment, the mood was less hot.
Tokyo NIK Nikkei 225 Index,
remained unchanged at 28,959.54, while the Hang Seng HSI,
in Hong Kong rose 0.4% to 28,851.00. The Kospi 180721,
in Seoul gained 0.7% to 3,246.20, while the Shanghai SHCOMP composite index,
slipped 0.3% to 3,601.82. Indies Sensex 1,
Thursday, the S&P 500 SPX,
gained 0.5% to 4,239.18, just breaking its previous all-time high on May 7. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
edged up 0.1% to 34,466.24. The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
rose 0.8%, to 14,020.33, as shares of smaller companies lagged the broader market. The Russell 2000 RUT Index,
fell 0.7% to 2,311.41.
A significant portion of the consumer price hike in May was linked to used car sales, which is largely attributed to purchases by car rental companies that bolster their fleets as people resume their trips.
Keep in mind that as we begin to reconnect with a full economic recovery, there are pent-up demand and supply constraints due to shortages of raw materials and labor, said Mike Loewengart, Director General of E-Trade Financial. This creates the kind of inflation that the Fed considers transient, which means it too will pass. It remains to be seen whether they are correct or not.
Bond yields first rose after the inflation data, then fell broadly in the late afternoon. The yield of the 10-year Treasury bill TMUBMUSD10Y,
slipped to 1.43% from 1.45% Thursday night. Stocks meandered through the week as investors waited for the inflation update.
Investors will be able to see next week how the Fed reads the latest inflation barometer and what monetary policy changes, if any, the central bank may be considering. The Fed’s policy-making committee is due to release its latest update on economic policy and interest rates next Wednesday.
Markets will also be tuned this weekend to any development at the top of the Group of Seven in Britain. High on the agenda for leaders, helping countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 3.7 million people and destroyed economies.
G-7 leaders meet for three days at a British seaside resort. This is the first such gathering since before the pandemic.
In other exchanges, the American benchmark CL.1 crude oil,
lost 25 cents to $ 70.04 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 33 cents to $ 70.29 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude BRN00,
the international standard, lost 26 cents to $ 72.26 a barrel.
The US dollar was trading at 109.39 Japanese yen USDJPY,
against 109.32 yen. The euro EURUSD,
went from $ 1.2176 to $ 1.2189.