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Asia markets mixed after U.S. stocks jump on inflation data

·2 mins

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed after Wall Street jumped overnight following U.S. inflation data. The U.S. consumer price index in February rose 0.4% on the month and 3.2% year over year. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, climbed 0.4% in February. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 started the day up 0.24%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Topix dropped. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.32% after February’s unemployment rate came in at 2.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index retreated marginally, and mainland CSI 300 was also down 0.3%. Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes rose, with the S&P500 gaining 1.12% and hitting a new record high. The Nasdaq Composite also saw a 1.54% gain, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.61%. South Korea’s unemployment rate came in at 2.6% year over year in February, lower than January’s rate. Stocks in South Korea were slightly higher. Goldman Sachs refreshed its “conviction list” of top picks in the Asia Pacific for March, adding and removing stocks. India’s inflation in February inched down to 5.09% from 5.10% in January, with food and beverages leading price growth. Nvidia’s stock rose over 200% in 2023 and continues to perform well this year. Citi noted that momentum has faded in major markets, but sentiment remains net bullish. Oracle shares surged more than 10% after posting stronger-than-expected earnings. The consumer price index report for February raised questions on when the Federal Reserve will start cutting rates.