Stock indexes fall, Australia inflation rises to 6.1%

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific shares traded lower on Wednesday with Hong Kong stocks leading losses, as Australia’s inflation rose and investors looked forward to the Fed’s policy decision.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.13%, while the Topix index declined 0.19%.

The Hang Seng index fell around 1% in early trade, and the Hang Seng Tech index slipped 1.19%. Heavyweight Alibaba dropped 3.64% after popping Tuesday after it announced plans for a dual primary listing in Hong Kong.

Mainland China markets also fell. The Shanghai Composite declined 0.29% and the Shenzhen Component lost 0.39%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was fractionally lower.

We expect that any impacts on the AUD from today’s CPI will be short lived because the darkening global outlook will be a greater weight on AUD.

Kristina Clifton

Economist, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.56%, but the Kosdaq advanced 0.24%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.72% lower.

Australia CPI

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U.S. stocks slipped overnight after Walmart cut its earnings forecast.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 228.50 points, or 0.71%, to 31,761.54. The S&P 500 dipped by 1.15% to 3,921.05, while the Nasdaq Composite fell around 1.87% to 11,562.57. 

The Federal Open Market Committee began its meeting on Tuesday stateside and will continue on Wednesday.

Expectations for a 75 basis point move were at 72.7%, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

In corporate news, chipmaker SK Hynix reported 56% growth in operating profit to 4.2 trillion Korean won ($3.2 billion) in the second quarter of 2022 compared to a year ago. Revenue jumped 34% to 13.8 trillion won, helped by the “continued rise of the U.S. dollar,” the company said in a statement.

But SK Hynix predicted that memory demand would slow in the second half of the year because shipments of PCs and smartphones are expected to be lower than initial forecasts.

The company’s stock was last fell 1.19%.

Automaker Mitsubishi Motors and miner Rio Tinto are also set to report earnings.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 107.027, higher than Tuesday’s levels.

The Japanese yen weakened to 137 per dollar.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were 0.16% higher at $95.13 per barrel, while Brent crude futures declined 0.1% to $104.30 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Sarah Min and Karen Gilchrist contributed to this report.

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