Asia Markets

Asia Pacific stocks mixed as China's inflation data misses expectations

Key Points
  • Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Wednesday.
  • Chinese inflation data for May missed expectations. The Producer Price Index for May fell 3.7% from a year earlier, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. That was a larger decline that the 3.3% fall expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.
  • Investors awaited the release of the U.S. Federal Reserve's economic forecast, expected on Wednesday stateside.

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, as Chinese inflation data for May missed expectations.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.15% higher at 23,124.95 while the Topix index declined 0.23% to finish its trading day at 1,624.71. South Korea's Kospi closed 0.31% higher at 2,195.69.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was fractionally lower, as of its final hour of trading. Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.42% to around 2,943.75 while the Shenzhen component added 0.457% to about 11,335.86.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed slightly higher at 6,148.40.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index added 0.34%.

In economic data, China's inflation data for May missed expectations. Its producer price index for May fell 3.7% from a year earlier, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. That was a larger decline that the 3.3% fall expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.  Meanwhile, its consumer price index rose 2.4% year-on-year in May, less than a 2.7% increase estimated by economists in a Reuters poll.

Fed watch

Investors awaited the release of the U.S. Federal Reserve's economic forecast, expected on Wednesday stateside.

"The fact that we are going to be finally getting some more clear guidance from (the Fed) is something we're all anticipating and I think it's also … one of the reasons that after this incredible risk rally we've had in the past weeks, there's a bit of a pause now to see what happens next," Garth Bregman, head of investment services for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Wealth Management, told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Wednesday.

"I think what most of us are looking for, really, is to see their guidance on whether they're gonna be targeting specific outcomes on inflation or unemployment … before they take their foot off the stimulus pedal," Bregman said.

Oil prices drop

Oil prices dropped in the afternoon of Asian trading hours on Wednesday, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.38% to $40.61 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also fell 1.85% to $38.22 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 96.204 after dropping from levels around 97 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.37 per dollar following its strengthening from levels above 107.8 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6981 after touching an earlier low of $0.693.