Asian shares inch up as investors brace for China data, Fed speakers

SYDNEY, May 15 (BNA): Asian stocks rose cautiously on Monday as investors braced for the release of China’s industry and retail data, while waiting for a group of US Federal Reserve officials to speak to anchor the market for rate cuts this year.

The cautious optimism is set to extend to Europe when markets open, with futures across the region on the Euro Stoxx 50 up 0.2%. Both S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were mostly flat.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan reversed earlier losses to rise 0.5%, propelled by a late recovery in Chinese and Hong Kong stocks after a sell-off in the previous week.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.2% while China’s blue-chip stocks gained 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei advanced 0.7%, based on optimism from last week during earnings season.

China’s central bank on Monday kept medium-term policy lending rates steady, although expectations are growing that monetary easing may be inevitable in the coming months to support the economic recovery.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd on Monday added a new connectivity scheme that connects markets in the financial center to the mainland by expanding internal interest rate derivatives to help foreign investors in Chinese bonds hedge their exposure.

China is scheduled to release monthly industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment data on Tuesday.

“The large year-over-year improvement should not be surprising given that it is measured against a stagnant economy that was in lockdown,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone.

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“However, with China data raising some concerns recently – we’ve seen weak imports, PPI, loan data – China’s growth is at the heart of the market’s moves,” Weston said.

Traders currently put the odds of the Fed keeping interest rates steady at 17.7%, up from 8.5% last week, after a report on Friday showed that long-term inflation expectations in the United States jumped to their highest levels since 2011, boosting dollar yields. and the treasury.

Oil prices fell for the fourth consecutive session. US crude futures fell 0.6% to $69.61 a barrel, while Brent crude futures fell 0.6% to $73.68 a barrel.

Gold prices rose 0.4% to $2,018.19 an ounce.

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