BEIJING—Asian stock markets fell Wednesday after Australian inflation increased, highlighting global pressure for prices to rise, while investors looked ahead to U.S. economic growth data due out this week.
Shanghai, Tokyo, and Hong Kong all retreated.
Wall Street’s S&P 500 index rose 0.2 percent on Tuesday to its second high in two days, driven by strong earnings reports by some major companies.
Australia’s underlying inflation rose by 0.7 percentage points to an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the three months ending in September, the government reported. Fuel costs rose by a record 7.1 percent.
Investors worry rising inflation as economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic might put pressure on central banks to roll back economic stimulus that is boosting stock prices.
“A jump in Australian core inflation highlighted intensifying cost pressures in the global economy,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.
Investors were waiting for U.S. economic growth data due out Thursday that might influence whether the Federal Reserve changes its timeline for reducing stimulus.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent to 3,564.71 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 0.5 percent to 28,952.59. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.5 percent to 25,642.01.
The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.9 percent to 3,022.84 while the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney gained less than 0.1 percent to 7.445.80.
India’s Sensex opened up 0.1 percent at 61.444.52. New Zealand, Jakarta, and Bangkok retreated.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 8.31 points to 4,574.79. The index is up 21.8 percent for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 15.73 points to 35,756.88. The Nasdaq composite added 9.01 points to 15,235.71.
UPS jumped 6.9 percent for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 on stronger third-quarter profits than expected due to higher shipping rates. Hasbro rose 3.2 percent after the maker of Transformers, My Little Pony and other toys reported solid financial results.
Chipmaker Nvidia rose 6.7 percent. Health care stocks and a mix of companies that rely on consumer spending for goods and services also made solid gains. UnitedHealth Group rose 1.2 percent and Amazon.com rose 1.7 percent.
Facebook slid 3.9 percent after giving investors a weak sales forecast.
General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Boeing Co., and Coca-Cola Cos. were due to report Wednesday. Apple Inc. and Amazon Inc. follow on Thursday.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 58 cents to $84.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 89 cents on Tuesday to $84.65. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, shed r4 cents to $85.21 per barrel in London. It closed 41 cents higher than the previous session at $86.40.
The dollar declined to 113.98 yen from Tuesday’s 114.17 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1605 from $1.1598.
By Joe Mcdonald