Asian shares mostly rose on Tuesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 adding 2.2% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edging up nearly 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.2%, while China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Japan’s producer price index data showed a 0.2% increase from a year ago, remaining flat on-month. Market analyst Yeap Jun Rong of IG said, “The tame number may still suggest limited passthrough to consumer prices and may offer room for the Bank of Japan to keep to its wait-and-see for now.”
Wall Street held steady following its latest record-setting week, with the S&P 500 slipping 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite dropping 0.3%. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to set its latest record.
Investors are keeping a close eye on the US consumer price index, which is set to be released on Tuesday. Economists expect it to show a drop back below the 3% level.
Meanwhile, worries have grown about how top-heavy the stock market has become, with the seven biggest companies accounting for a disproportionate amount of the S&P 500’s rally to a record. If more companies can deliver strong profit growth, it could soften the criticism that the market has become too expensive.
Another worry for the market is uncertainty about how much danger lurks for the economy in the loans and other holdings banks have on their balance sheets that are tied to commercial real estate.