Asia shares left listless by mixed China data

By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

Asian share markets turned mixed on Monday as data on Chinese retail sales missed expectations though industrial output stayed solid, while more evidence of global inflation pressures helped gold to a three-month peak.

Chinese retail sales rose 17.7% in April a year ago, short of forecasts for a jump of 24.8%, while industrial output matched expectations with a rise of 9.8%.

The spread of the coronavirus was also a hindrance with Singapore shutting most schools from Wednesday after reporting the highest number of local infections in months.

Taiwan’s government on Monday had to reassure investors it would stabilize stock and foreign exchange markets if needed amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Stocks there were still down 1.1%.

Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.7%, having also touched its lowest since early January last week. Data suggested inflation was a global phenomenon with Japan’s wholesale prices jumping 3.6% in April from a year earlier as rising energy and commodities costs ate into corporate margins.

S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures both eased 0.1%, following Friday’s rally.

The U.S. data calendar is light this week, putting the focus on minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting for any clue when officials there might start to talk about tapering.

So far, most Fed members have been doggedly dovish on policy, arguing a spike in inflation was transitory, though there was a risk it could get baked into expectations.

The University of Michigan consumer survey last week showed the highest expected year-ahead inflation rate as well as the highest long-term inflation rate in the past decade.

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