Pedestrians at the shops at Pitt Street Mall in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Monday, December 26, 2022.
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Asia-Pacific shares were mostly trading higher as investors looked ahead to the US consumer price index, which would set the Federal Reserve̵[ads1]7;s path in trying to tackle inflation after raising interest rates seven times in 2022.
Economists polled by Reuters expected the core CPI to rise 0.3% on a monthly basis, which would mark the lowest reading since September 2021, Refinitiv data showed.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7% ahead of the November inflation pressures release. The Nikkei 225 traded up 0.84% and the Topix up 0.7%.
The Kospi rose 0.71% even as South Korea’s unemployment rate for December rose to 3.3% from November’s 2.9%, the highest in 11 months. The Kosdaq rose 1.04 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.83% in the first hour of trading. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite rose fractionally and the Shenzhen component was down 0.24%
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.35%.
Overnight on Wall Street, major stock indexes closed higher as investors continued to build on the new year’s early rally. Fed chairman Jerome Powell emphasized in a speech the importance of the central bank’s independence from political influence, without giving a direct indication of where monetary policy is headed.