Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher As Inflation Worries Ease

Asian stocks followed Wall Street higher on Thursday after a report showed U.S inflation cooled more than expected in July, reflecting lower energy prices. Slower inflation will mean that the Federal Reserve can moderate its rate hike policy. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.6 percent to 3,281.67, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index spiked 2.4 percent to 20,082.43.

Shares of Longfor Group Holdings surged 5.7 percent in Hong Kong after the Chinese developer denied rumors that it had missed payment on commercial paper.

Seoul stocks rose sharply amid hopes that sky-high U.S. inflation may finally have peaked. The Kospi jumped 1.7 percent to close at 2,523.78. Samsung Electronics, LG Chem and LG Energy Solution rose 1-3 percent.

Australian markets ended at a two-month high after a measure of consumer inflation expectations in the country dropped to 5.9 percent in August, versus 6.3 percent prior.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index advanced 1.1 percent to 7,071, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 1.2 percent higher at 7,325.40. Mining heavyweight BHP rallied 2.2 percent and smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group added 1.3 percent.

Santos jumped 2.3 percent after the oil & gas exploration and production company purchased a gas pipeline project that would connect its long-contested Narrabri gas project in NSW to the east-coast market.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index ended little changed at 11,760.01 after data showed house prices in the country fell for the first time in 11 years in July.

U.S. stocks rose sharply to reach three-month highs overnight after data showed inflation grew at a slower pace than expected in July, helping ease recession fears and worries about aggressive monetary tightening.

The consumer price index unexpectedly came in flat in July compared with June and rose 8.5 percent year-on-year, reflecting a bigger than expected slowdown from the 9.1 percent spike in June.

The Dow rallied 1.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.9 percent and the S&P 500 jumped 2.1 percent.

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