Monday, June 17, 2024
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Asian stocks rise ahead of central bank rate decisions – Free Malaysia Today

SINGAPORE: Asian stock markets were buoyed on Tuesday by overnight optimism on Wall Street that the US Federal Reserve and other central banks would ease off on the pace at which interest rates have been hiked to tackle the highest inflation levels in decades.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.17% while Japan’s Nikkei and Seoul’s KOSPI index were 0.32% and 0.01% higher respectively. Australian shares rose 0.34%.
A key focus for traders was US inflation data due out at 1330 GMT on Tuesday, with core CPI expected to slow from 6.3% to 6.1% and headline inflation dropping to 7.3%. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen struck a cautious note on Sunday in saying she expected a substantial slowdown in 2023 inflation, but that the US economy remained prone to shocks.
Later this week, the Fed, European Central Bank and the Bank of England are all expected to raise rates by 50 basis points (bps), rather than the aggressive 75 bps hikes they approved earlier in the year.
“Given the very close proximity (of US CPI data) to the FOMC, it clearly has the ability to change the tone of the message … but is highly unlikely to change the headline 50 bps hike,” Deutsche Bank said in a research note.
Chinese stocks were expected to be flat on Tuesday as a rapid Covid-19 surge in the world’s biggest economy is raising worries that infections might disrupt consumption and manufacturing.
The dollar was firm, rising 0.8% versus the yen overnight and steady at ¥137.62 in early Asia trade on Tuesday. It also held onto gains on the Australian dollar at US$0.6756.
Oil prices were higher after jumping on Monday due to supply jitters, with Brent crude futures up 0.28% at US$78.21 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude up 0.51% at US$73.54 a barrel.
Spot gold was steady at US$1,781.66 per ounce, while US gold futures were up 0.1% at US$1,793.40.
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