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Asian Markets Trade Mixed Ahead Of CPI Data

Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Wednesday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, as traders react to data showing producer prices in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of April, while they cautiously await the release of key consumer price inflation data later in the day. Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday.

US Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a meeting that the central bank needs to “be patient and let restrictive policy do its work,” noting a lack of further progress on inflation during the first quarter.

The Fed chief also said his confidence inflation will slow towards the 2 percent target is “not as high as it was” but reiterated he does not expect the next move to be a rate hike.

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Australian shares are trading notably higher on Wednesday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 moving up to stay below the 7,800 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains across most sectors led by mining and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is gaining 33.20 points or 0.43 percent to 7,760.00, after touching a high of 7,784.80 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 31.00 points or 0.39 percent to 8,026.70. Australian stocks ended modestly lower on Tuesday.

Among major miners, BHP Group is gaining almost 3 percent and Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 2 percent, while Mineral Resources and Rio Tinto are adding more than 1 percent each.

Oil stocks are mostly higher. Origin Energy is gaining almost 1 percent, while Santos, Beach energy and Woodside Energy are flat.

In the tech space, Afterpay owner Block and Zip are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Xero is adding almost 1 percent, WiseTech Global is edging up 0.1 percent and Appen is advancing more than 4 percent.

Among the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while ANZ Banking is edging down 0.2 percent.

Among gold miners, Newmont, Gold Road Resources and Evolution Mining are edging up 0.1 to 0.5 percent each, while Resolute Mining is gaining more than 1 percent. Northern Star Resources is edging down 0.5 percent.

In other news, shares in IDP Education are jumping almost 8 percent after an independent review of the UK’s Graduate Route recommended status quo that allows international students to stay back in the UK for two years after graduation.

In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.664 on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Wednesday, adding to the gains in the previous three sessions, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight. The Nikkei 225 is moving up to be a tad below the 38,500 level, with gains across most sectors led by index heavyweights and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 38,491.15, up 135.09 points or 0.35 percent, after touching a high of 38,816.60 earlier. Japanese stocks ended notably higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is adding more than 1 percent and Toyota is also gaining more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent, Screen Holdings is up almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding more than 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.4 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining almost 1 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are edging up 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while Sony is soaring almost 10 percent after it reported a 34 percent rise in quarterly profit on stronger earnings from its game and movie businesses.

Among other major gainers, Isetan Mitsukoshi is skyrocketing almost 15 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, NEXON and Amada are soaring more than 8 percent each. Yokohama Rubber is surging almost 8 percent and Isuzu Motors is gaining more than 6 percent, while NTN, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Asahi Group and Resona Holdings are adding more than 4 percent each. Denso, IHI and Subaru are advancing almost 4 percent each, while Suzuki Motor is up more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Nitori Holdings plummeting more than 15 percent and Casio Computer is plunging more than 10 percent, while Konica Minolta and Sharp are declining more than 9 percent each. Sumitomo Pharma and Tobu Railway are losing more than 6 percent each, while Idemitsu Kosanand Odakyu Electric Railway are slipping more than 5 percent each. Rakuten Group, Marui Group and Dentsu Group are losing more than 4 percent each, while Nissan Chemical, Obayashi and Shimizu are down more than 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 156 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, New Zealand, China and Singapore are lower by between 0.4 and 0.5 percent each, while Taiwan and Indonesia are up 1.5 and 0.8 percent, respectively. South Korea and Hong Kong are closed for Buddha’s birthday. Malaysia is relatively flat.

On the Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Tuesday before eventually ending the day mostly higher. The major averages all moved to the upside, with the Dow bouncing back after snapping an eight-day winning streak on Monday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the way higher, advancing 122.94 points or 0.8 percent to a new record closing high of 16,511.18. The S&P 500 climbed 25.26 points or 0.5 percent to 5,246.68 and the Dow rose 126.60 points or 0.3 percent to 39,558.11.

Meanwhile, the major European markets also ended the day narrowly mixed. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both crept up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices settled lower Tuesday as data showing a bigger than expected increase in U.S. producer prices raised concerns that Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for a longer period. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June sank $1.10 or about 1.4 percent at $78.02 a barrel.

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