Asian shares retreated on Thursday as investors awaited U.S. consumer price inflation data later in the day that could offer more clarity on whether the Federal Reserve needs restrictive monetary policy to lower inflation that is at multi-decade highs.
Concerns about inflation continue to rise after overnight data showed U.S. producer price inflation rose more than expected in September.
The dollar and gold traded in a tight range in Asian trading, while oil edged higher after three consecutive sessions of losses.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.3 percent to 3,016.36 ahead of a key Party congress where President Xi Jinping is expected to extend his leadership. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 1.9 percent lower at 16,389.11.
Japanese stocks closed lower amid recession fears and concerns surrounding aggressive policy tightening by the Federal Reserve. The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.6 percent to 26,237.42, while the broader Topix slid 0.8 percent to 1,854.61.
The yen hit a 24-year low against the dollar as the latest Fed meeting minutes underscored the central bank’s commitment to taming “unacceptably high” inflation and Fed Governor Michelle Bowman said she would continue to support aggressive rate hikes.
Closer to home, Japanese corporate goods prices grew the most in five months in September, Bank of Japan data showed earlier in the day.
Conglomerate Toshiba Corp. soared 7.4 percent on reports of a possible $19 billion buyout. Tech stocks rebounded, with Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings rising 1-2 percent.
Seoul stocks slumped on concerns that combative monetary tightening policies in major economies could tip the global economy into a recession. The Kospi fell 1.8 percent to 2,162.87, with heavyweights Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and LG Chem falling 1-3 percent.
Australian markets ended marginally lower, dragged down by mining and energy stocks. The big banks rose 2-3 percent, helping limit the downside in the broader market. Qantas surged 8.7 percent after the airline forecast stronger-than-expected first-half profit.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index slid 0.5 percent to close at 10,817.48.
U.S. stocks reversed course to end lower overnight, as producer prices rose more than expected in September and the latest Fed meeting minutes reiterated the central bank’s resolve in dampening inflation, with the summary of economic projections pointing to a terminal rate of around 4.6 percent.
The S&P 500 eased 0.3 percent to notch its sixth consecutive loss, while the Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both finished marginally lower.
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