Asian Stocks Rally Stalls as Markets Await Yellen Testimony

  • Japan, Singapore and the Philippines lead declines in Asia
  • China and Hong Kong close lower after producer prices data

China's CPI and PPI Inflation Rising

Asian stocks retreated from an 18-month high as markets await testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and the dollar weakened against major currencies including the Japanese yen.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was fell 0.2 percent to 143.99 as of 5:21 p.m. Hong Kong time, led by declines in Japan, Singapore and the Philippines. It had climbed as high as 144.73, the highest level since July 2015, earlier Tuesday.

Japan’s Topix index slipped as the yen strengthened after the resignation of U.S national security adviser Michael Flynn. The Chinese and Hong Kong markets fluctuated between gains and losses after data showed that China’s producer prices increased the most since 2011, further lifting the outlook for global reflation.

The China producer price index rose 6.9 percent in January from a year earlier, beating estimates, while the consumer price index climbed 2.5 percent. The rising inflation rate is unlikely to limit the actions of the central bank to moderate China’s slowing growth, Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone.

In the U.S., Yellen is due to testify before lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday.


Summary

  • Topix fell 1.1% after two days of gains, Nikkei 225 -1%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index falls 1.3%; OCBC -3.3% after missing estimates, DBS -3.4%, UOB -1.6%
    • Noble Group surges 12 percent as trader confirms strategic investor talks
  • Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, Hang Seng Index, Shanghai Composite are little changed
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 little changed
  • South Korea’s Kospi -0.2%; Taiex +0.1%
  • FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI -0.1; Jakarta Composite Index -0.5%; Philippine Stock Exchange Index -1.2%
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