Stocks in Asia mostly slipped in Tuesday afternoon trade as Chinese inflation data showed a surge in consumer prices in November.
Mainland Chinese stocks declined by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite down 0.2% as shares of China Postal Savings Bank rose 1.09% in their Shanghai debut. The Shenzhen component slipping 0.14% while the Shenzhen composite also shed 0.189%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was fractionally lower.
Chinese consumer inflation jumped in November, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.
The Consumer Price Index for November jumped 4.5% year-on-year, as food prices skyrocketed 19.1% amid an outbreak of African swine fever.
On the other hand, producer prices in China declined in the same month, with the Producer Price Index (PPI) for November falling 1.4% year-on-year.
Commenting on the PPI decline, Pearl Bridge Partners’ Andrew Sullivan said: “The problem that they have certainly … is the fact that this is very much, you know, a sign of global demand rather than just the demand within China itself.”
“So much of it now really comes down to, you know, the trade dispute and the effect that that’s having on global supply and demand,” Sullivan, a director at the firm, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Tuesday.
“There’s only a limited amount that really China can do in the short-term with regard to this,” he added, with the market’s “main focus” likely remaining around the prospect of a trade deal between Beijing and Washington.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined slightly in afternoon trade while the Topix index dipped fractionally. Shares of game maker Nintendo surged beyond 3% as the firm officially launched its Switch console in China. South Korea’s Kospi bucked the overall trend regionally as it rose 0.17%.
Meanwhile, shares in Australia also declined, with the S&P/ASX 200 0.3% lower.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan traded 0.17% lower.
Meanwhile, on the U.S.-China trade front, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Washington is unlikely to impose upcoming tariffs on Chinese exports, set to go into effect on Dec. 15.
“We have a deadline coming up on the Dec. 15 for another tranche of tariffs, I do not believe those will be implemented and I think we may see some backing away,” Perdue said, according to Bloomberg.
Investors have been watching for more concrete details on an anticipated “phase one” deal between the two economic powerhouses ahead of Dec. 15. The trade war between the U.S. and China has now raged on for more than a year with duties slapped on billions of dollars worth of each other’s goods.
Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 105.46 points lower at 27,909.60 while the S&P 500 shed 0.3% to end its trading day at 3,135.96. The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.4% to close at 8,621.83.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 97.626 after seeing earlier highs above 97.7.
Oil prices slipped in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures shedding 0.14% to $64.16 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also declined 0.15% to $58.93 per barrel.