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Asian stocks fall after Chinese inflation data surprises upward

BANGKOK (AP) – Shares fell in most Asian markets on Friday after China reported a stronger-than-expected price increase that could prompt authorities to act to cool inflation.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose again after falling the day before. Shares fell in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney and Seoul.

On Thursday, stocks closed moderately higher on Wall Street, lifted by gains in large technology companies benefiting from lower bond yields. But an increase in the number of unemployed raised some of the buying enthusiasm.

China reported consumer prices rose in March due to a jump in fuel prices, while producer prices rose at the fastest pace in more than four years.

The consumer price index rose 0.4% in March compared to minus 0.2% in February, when fuel prices rose almost 1

2% from the previous year. Prices paid by producers increased 4.4% from the previous year.

Inflation reflects rising demand as China’s economy leads to the world’s recovery from the pandemic. Concerns that stronger growth may spur inflation on regulators in many larger economies to cool down, partly by raising interest rates, have been imminent in the markets for the past several months.

In addition, a new round of US sanctions, this time against seven Chinese supercomputer manufacturers, has revived concerns about trade friction between the two largest economies, said Jeffrey Halley of Oanda.

“The Asian markets are once again adopting a more cautious posture today. Geopolitics is never far from the surface, though it is often lost in the global recovery noise, ”Halley said in a report.

Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP,
lost 1% and Hang Seng in Hong Kong HSI,
fell 1.3%. Australian S & P / ASX 200 XJO,
gave up 0.2% and Kospi 180721,
in Seoul fell 0.3%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK,
+ 0.20%
rose 0.2%.

Shares in Sony Corp. SONY,
rose 2.7% after signing an exclusive movie distribution deal with Netflix NFLX,
+ 1.39%.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 index SPX,
+ 0.42%
gained 0.4% to 4,097.17, another record high after records set on Monday and Wednesday. Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
+ 0.17%
obtained 0.2% to 33,503.57. The technically heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP,
+ 1.03%
increased 1% to 13,829.31.

Small corporate stocks, which have surpassed the broader market this year, also made good progress. Russell 2000 Index RUT,
+ 0.88%
of smaller companies rose 0.9% to 2,242.60. The index has risen by 13.6% so far this year, while the S&P 500, which tracks large companies, is 9.1%.

Equities have benefited this week as bond yields, which had been constantly ticking higher, retreated from highs hit earlier in the month.

The dividend on the 10-year US banknote TMUBMUSD10Y,
which affects interest rates on mortgages and other loans, fell to 1.63% from 1.65% late on Wednesday. It had been as high as 1.75% on Monday.

This pullback in interest rates took some pressure off technology stocks, which have fallen over the past few months as interest rates jumped, making these stocks look pricey. The sector has also seen troubled trading as investors shift more money to companies benefiting from the economic recovery.

Apple AAPL,
+ 1.92%
rose 1.9%, Microsoft MSFT,
+ 1.34%
achieved 1.3% and Amazon AMZN,
+ 0.61%
added 0.6%.

Investors are showing cautious optimism about the economic recovery, especially in the United States, where vaccine distribution has increased and President Joe Biden has accelerated the deadline for states to make doses available to all adults by April 19.

But it is clear that the recovery has a long way to go. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week rose again last week as many businesses remain closed or partially closed due to the pandemic.

In remarks to the International Monetary Fund on Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said a number of factors put the nation “on track to allow for a full reopening of the economy pretty soon.”

In other trade, US benchmark crude oil CL.1,
rose 11 cents to $ 59.71 per share. barrel of electronic commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 17 cents to $ 59.60 on Thursday. Burnt raw BRN00,
the international standard fell 2 cents to $ 63.18.

The US dollar rose to 109.32 Japanese yen USDJPY,
+ 0.23%
from 109.25 yen. Euro EURUSD,
fell to $ 1.1904 from $ 1.1917.

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