Markets track higher as investors await US inflation data

HOGN KONG (AFP): Asian and European markets mostly rose Tuesday after an Easter break that thinned trading volumes in the region, with focus now turning to the release of US inflation data later in the week.

The consumer and wholesale price reports due follow Friday figures that showed a continued healthy rise in jobs creation, reinforcing expectations of another Federal Reserve interest rate hike next month.

But the jobs report also soothed concerns that the world’s top economy was slowing too fast and could be on course for a recession, after last week’s sub-par manufacturing and services sector activity numbers.

However, analysts warned that the 236,000 jobs announced Friday could mark the last report to top 200,000 for some time and that it could turn negative within months.

“It does appear the US payrolls have seemingly steadied the ship after the market got a bit out-of-step with, or at least over-extrapolating, an imminent recession from the gloomy… data last week,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.

Wall Street provided a broadly positive lead, with all three main indexes recovering from early deep losses. The Dow and S&P 500 chalked up gains though the Nasdaq finished marginally lower.

Still, most of Asia enjoyed an upbeat day.

Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney rose more than one percent while there were also gains in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Mumbai, Wellington, Taipei and Bangkok, though Shanghai and Taipei dipped.

London, Paris and Frankfurt rallied in the morning as trade resumed post-Easter.