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Asian shares mixed after U.S. stocks drop

Asian shares

Kospi edged less than 0.1% higher, to 2,708.15, Nikkei 225 shed 0.4% to 39,432.61, Hang Seng was down 0.6%, at 17,037.80, Shanghai Composite index added 0.4% to 3,038.68, S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.4% to 7,816.00, SET shed 0.5% and Taiex was 0.3% lower

Asian shares were mixed Thursday after U.S. stocks dropped on concerns that what had seemed like a blip in the battle to bring down inflation may be a troubling trend.

Oil prices rose and U.S. futures were flat.

South Korean shares were little changed after the ruling conservative party suffered a defeat in a parliamentary election. The Kospi edged less than 0.1% higher, to 2,708.15.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.4% to 39,432.61 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 0.6%, at 17,037.80.

The Shanghai Composite index added 0.4% to 3,038.68 and the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.4% to 7,816.00.

Bangkok’s SET shed 0.5% and Taiwan’s Taiex was 0.3% lower.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 declined 0.9% to 5,160.64. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.1% to 38,461.51, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.8% to 16,170.36.

Treasury yields jumped as bond prices dropped, raising the pressure on the stock market, after a report showed inflation was hotter last month than economists expected. It is the third successive report to suggest progress on bringing high inflation down may be stalling.

For shoppers, that is painful because of the potential for even higher prices at the store. For Wall Street, it raises concerns that the Fed will hold back on delivering the cuts to interest rates that traders are expecting and have been betting on.

The Federal Reserve has been waiting for more evidence to show inflation is heading sustainably down toward its target of 2%. After an encouraging cooling last year, the concerns now is that inflation may be stuck after January’s, February’s and March’s inflation reports all came in hotter than expected, along with data on the economy generally.

Prices for everything from bonds to gold dropped immediately after the morning’s release of the inflation data.

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