Asian stocks rise

Asia-Pacific shares traded higher as investors await the US consumer price index, which will determine the Fed’s path to tackle inflation.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.93 percent. The consumer price index rose 7.3 percent year-on-year in November, a sign that inflationary pressures are not slowing now.

Nikkei 225 was up 1.08 percent and Topix was up 1.04%. South Korea’s December unemployment rate rose to 3.3 percent, compared to 2.9 percent in November, to an 11-month high, Kospi said. The Kosdaq rose 1.50%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.01%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.24 percent, while the Shenzhen Component partially rose. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.41 percent.

Overnight on Wall Street, major stock indices closed higher as investors continued to ramp up the new year’s early rally. In one of his speeches, Fed Leader Jerome Powell emphasized the value of the central bank’s independence from political influence, without giving direct clues about where monetary policy is headed.