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Asian stocks mixed after further signs of slowing inflation | Your money

BANGKOK (AP) — Stocks were mixed on Friday in Asia after a confusing day on Wall Street, where benchmarks meandered after another encouraging inflation report.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 2.6%, catching up on gains after being closed for a holiday on Thursday. Hong Kong and Seoul also rose, while Shanghai and Sydney fell. US futures rose slightly and oil prices fell.

Markets received a boost on Thursday after a report showed inflation at the wholesale level had slowed more than economists had expected last month. It happened a day after colder reading than expected on inflation at the consumer level, which raised hopes among investors that inflation could be close to a peak and that the Federal Reserve would be less aggressive than feared in raising interest rates.

Inflation is still painfully high and the economy has been giving false signals before relief is on the way for investors to have the rug pulled out from under their feet. Some Fed officials also made comments after Wednesday’s inflation report suggesting their battle against rising prices is far from over.

“Stocks were unable to hold on to solid gains following back-to-back reports suggesting inflation has peaked. After a small pullback from the Fed, Wall Street is starting to guess how soon the Fed will will be able to pivot” to slowing rate hikes, OANDA’s Edward Moya said in a commentary.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 727.65 points to 28,546.98. Seoul’s Kospi edged up 0.2% to 2,527.94 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2% to 20,125.53.

Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5% to 7,032.50 while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2% to 3,276.65. Shares fell in India but rose in Taiwan.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed down 0.1% at 4,207.27 on Thursday, but was still on pace for a fourth straight weekly gain. The Nasdaq fell 0.6% to 12,779.91 and the Dow Jones rose 0.1% to 33,336.67. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index rose 0.3% to 1,975.26. All three indices are also on pace for a weekly gain.

Enough hope for a spike in inflation and the Fed’s aggressiveness helped the S&P 500 cut its losses by about half from the start of the year. It is up more than 14% since its low in mid-June.

Tech stocks and other investments hardest hit early in the year by the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes were among the strongest, and the Nasdaq climbed more than 20% from its June low.

Technology and healthcare stocks were among the heaviest weights in the S&P 500, limiting gains in energy companies, banks and other sectors.

The Walt Disney Co. jumped 4.7% after the entertainment company reported higher earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

Concerns about a possible recession still loom in the market, as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates to fight inflation.

A report released Thursday showed fewer American workers filed for unemployment claims last week than expected, a potentially encouraging sign about layoffs. But it was nonetheless the highest number since November.

Traders are now betting on the Fed to raise overnight interest rates by half a percentage point at its meeting next month, down from the Fed’s last two increases of 0.75 points. percentage. Even if the Fed manages to slow the economy enough to eradicate inflation without causing a recessionhigher interest rates drive down the prices of all types of investments.

Treasury yields mostly rose on Thursday, with the 10-year yield rising to 2.89% from 2.79% late Wednesday, a big step up.

It is still lower than the two-year yield, which stands at 3.21%. It’s a relatively unusual event that some investors consider a fairly reliable signal of an impending recession, although the gap between the two has narrowed somewhat.

In other trading on Friday, the benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 31 cents to $94.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $2.41 to $94.34 a barrel on Thursday.

Brent crude, the pricing basis for international trade, fell 16 cents to $99.44 a barrel.

The US dollar fell from 133.03 yen to 133.26 Japanese yen. The euro fell to $1.0319 from $1.0322.

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