Asia Markets

Asia stocks mixed as China consumer inflation jumps in November

Key Points
  • Stocks in Asia were mixed on Tuesday.
  • Chinese consumer inflation jumped in November, according to date released by the country's National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.
  • The Consumer Price Index for November jumped 4.5% year-on-year, as food prices skyrocketed 19.1% amid the country's woes following an outbreak of African swine fever.
  • On the other hand, producer prices in China declined in the same month, with the Producer Price Index (PPI) for November falling 1.4% year-on-year.

Major Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday as Chinese inflation data showed a surge in consumer prices in November.

Mainland Chinese stocks recovered from an earlier slip to finish their trading day higher, with the Shanghai composite fractionally higher at about 2,917.32 as shares of China Postal Savings Bank rose 2% in their Shanghai debut. The Shenzhen component added 0.4% to 9,915.87 while the Shenzhen composite also gained 0.384% to around 1,646.82. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.22% lower at 26,436.62.

Chinese consumer inflation jumped in November, according to data released by the country's National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

The Consumer Price Index for November jumped 4.5% year-on-year, as food prices skyrocketed 19.1% amid an outbreak of African swine fever.

On the other hand, producer prices in China declined in the same month, with the Producer Price Index (PPI) for November falling 1.4% year-on-year.

Commenting on the PPI decline, Pearl Bridge Partners' Andrew Sullivan said: "The problem that they have certainly ... is the fact that this is very much, you know, a sign of global demand rather than just the demand within China itself."

"So much of it now really comes down to, you know, the trade dispute and the effect that that's having on global supply and demand," Sullivan, a director at the firm, told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Tuesday.

"There's only a limited amount that really China can do in the short-term with regard to this," he added, with the market's "main focus" likely remaining around the prospect of a trade deal between Beijing and Washington.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei 225 declined slightly to close at 23,410.19 while the Topix index dipped fractionally to end its trading day at 1,720.77. Shares of game maker Nintendo surged 2.86% as the firm officially launched its Switch console in China. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.45% to close at 2,098.00.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia declined, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.34% lower at 6,706.90.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan traded 0.17% lower.

Meanwhile, on the U.S.-China trade front, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Washington is unlikely to impose upcoming tariffs on Chinese exports, set to go into effect on Dec. 15.

"We have a deadline coming up on the Dec. 15 for another tranche of tariffs, I do not believe those will be implemented and I think we may see some backing away," Perdue said, according to Bloomberg.

Investors have been watching for more concrete details on an anticipated "phase one" deal between the two economic powerhouses ahead of Dec. 15. The trade war between the U.S. and China has now raged on for more than a year with duties slapped on billions of dollars worth of each other's goods.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 97.618 after seeing an earlier low of 97.589.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.61 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 109.6 last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6828 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6816.

Oil prices slipped in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures shedding 0.19% to $64.13 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also declined 0.2% to $58.90 per barrel.,