SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks were higher in Thursday trade as investors reacted to the release of China’s inflation data for September.
Producer inflation surged in September, official data showed Thursday. The producer price index for September soared 10.7% as compared with a year ago, slightly above expectations in a Reuters poll for a 10.5% increase.
China’s consumer price index also rose 0.7% in September as compared with a year ago. That was slightly below the 0.9% on-year increase as forecast in a Reuters poll.
“The inflationary pressure, particularly … on the producer price front, is quite persistent and will be a problem going into next year as well,” Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Thursday.
Some impact from higher energy prices would translate into increased consumer prices next year as well, he said.
The persistent inflationary pressure also limits the People’s Bank of China’s scope for monetary policy easing, Zhang warned.
PBOC Governor Yi Gang said Wednesday that inflation in China is moderate overall, according to a CNBC translation of a Thursday post on the Chinese central bank’s website.
Singapore’s central bank tightens monetary policy
Singapore’s Straits Times index gained 0.35%, recovering from earlier losses after the country’s central bank unexpectedly tightened monetary policy on Thursday.
Official advance estimates also showed Thursday that Singapore’s economy grew 6.5% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021. That was largely in line with expectations from economists in a Reuters poll, who had expected a 6.6% year-on-year expansion for the third quarter.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.93%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.52% higher.
Markets in Hong Kong are closed on Thursday for a holiday.
Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s September meeting released Wednesday showed officials at the central bank could begin a “gradual tapering process” by mid-November.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.042 after falling recently from above 94.4.
The Japanese yen traded at 113.55 per dollar, weaker than levels below 112.5 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7386, above levels below $0.735 seen yesterday.