Mixed course in Asian stock markets

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed, as expectations of a cooling in inflation in the US increased investor confidence in the region.

A University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey released Friday showed the one-year inflation outlook dropped to 4 percent, the lowest level since April 2021.

This was followed by the December CPI report, which showed prices fell 0.1 percent from a month ago, raising hopes that the Fed could soon slow rate hikes.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.9 percent, the Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 1 percent and Topix lost 0.61 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.2 percent and the Kodaq was up 0.62 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flat, while Shanghai Composite rose 0.43 percent and Shenzhen Component rose 0.66 percent.

Over the weekend, China reported an increase of nearly 60,000 Covid-19 deaths since lifting restrictions last month. The announcement came after the World Health Organization criticized China for under-reporting deaths.

On Sunday, the high-speed rail linking mainland China and Hong Kong reopened for the first time in three years.