Stocks stumble as investors’ nerves show ahead of US inflation data
Stocks were struggling to advance in Asia and the dollar was firm on Wednesday ahead of U.S. consumer price data that could damage hopes for interest rate cuts later this year if inflation fails to show much of a decline.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) had fallen on Tuesday and inched down a further 0.3% early on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) fell 0.4%.
Overnight the S&P 500 (.SPX) fell 0.5% and S&P 500 futures were steady in the Asian morning. A firm U.S. dollar pushed the euro back below $1.10 to $1.0971.
April U.S. consumer price data is due at 1230 GMT and economists expect the headline CPI to hold steady at an annual 5% and core CPI to moderate very slightly to 5.5%, though anything stickier could confound bets interest rates will fall.
“That’s the thing that’d get taken out if CPI numbers come in on the higher side,” said ING economist Rob Carnell.
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