Investing.com -- Most Asian stocks rose on Wednesday after data released overnight spurred increased bets that the Federal Reserve was close to ending its current rate hike cycle, while Chinese markets continued to lag on a worsening economic outlook.
Regional stocks took positive cues from a strong overnight session on Wall Street, following better-than-expected bank earnings and as a smaller-than-expected rise in retail sales pointed to easing inflationary pressures.
The data spurred bets that an upcomingby the Fed in end-July will be its last for the time being, and pushed investors into risk-driven assets.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was the best performer among its Asian peers, up 1%, while the broader TOPIX also added 1%. Automakers were the best performers for the day, with majors Nissan Motor (TYO: 7201 ) and Mazda Motor (TYO: 7261 ) up 6% and 4%, respectively, ahead of their earnings in the coming weeks.
Indian stocks notch record highs, consolidation in sight
Singapore-traded futures for India’s Nifty 50 index pointed to a flat open, after the Nifty and the BSE Sensex 30 hit record highs on Tuesday amid strength in major technology stocks and optimism over Reliance Industries' (NS: RELI ) demerger of its financial unit.
Strong earnings from the financial sector also boosted major Indian bank stocks this week. But this momentum appeared to be somewhat running out of steam on Wednesday, as Nifty Futures indicated a flat open.
Analysts also said that some consolidation in the Indian market may now be in store, given that local indexes notched new highs for the past two weeks.
Chinese markets lag, Hong Kong tech sees more profit taking
On the other hand, China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes lagged their regional peers for a third straight session, as markets awaited more stimulus measures from the Chinese government.
Chinese officials and local media reports said that the government will roll out more stimulus measures in the coming days, after data showed that China's economy barely grew in the second quarter.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was the worst-performing Asian index for a second consecutive day, sliding 1.5% as investors locked in profits in major technology stocks.
Majors including Baidu Inc (HK: 9888 ) (NASDAQ: BIDU ), Alibaba Group (HK: 9988 ) (NYSE: BABA ) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK: 0700 ) slid between 1.8% and 4.4%, after having a strong run over the past week.
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