Asian shares edge lower after mixed finish on Wall Street

Asian shares edge lower after mixed finish on Wall Street


BANGKOK (AP) — Stocks edged lower in Asia on Tuesday after a mixed finish on Wall Street, as investors weighed the risks of inflation against signs the recovery from the pandemic is gaining momentum.

Benchmarks fell in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai and Seoul. Sydney was higher.

In a subdued opening to the week in New York, the S&P 500 slipped less than 0.1%, giving up some recent gains. The benchmark index is within 0.2% of the all-time high it reached a month ago.

Japan reported that its economy contracted 1% in the January-March quarter from the previous quarter, instead of the preliminary estimate of minus 1.3%.

A severe coronavirus outbreak that has caused the government to declare a partial state of emergency and tighten pandemic precautions is likely to keep the economy in the doldrums in the current quarter, Makoto Tsuchiya of Oxford Economics said in a commentary.

“However, we remain optimistic that the pace of recovery will pick up in the second half as domestic demand recovers, supported by increased vaccinations, while foreign demand should continue to support the manufacturing sector," he said.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.3% to 28,709.29 and the Nikkei in Tokyo edged 0.2% lower to 28,963.56. The Shanghai Composite index declined 0.7% to 3,574.24. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2% to 7,298.00. In Seoul, the Kospi fell 0.2% to 3,247.57.

Investors will get another glimpse into the impact of inflation on Thursday with the U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price report for May. Prices on everything from food to clothes and housing have been rising as the economy recovers.

China reports updated inflation data on Wednesday.

Investors and economists are concerned that a steep rise in prices could crimp the recovery and prompt the Federal Reserve...

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