World stocks inch higher ahead of USA inflation data

World stocks inch higher ahead of USA inflation data

World stocks inch higher ahead of USA inflation data

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Asian equity traders adopted a cautious tone on Tuesday following a dip in U.S. stocks, with focus turning to a United States inflation report for clues on the pace of Federal Reserve policy tightening.

For now, Wall Street was happy to take the data at face value and the Dow jumped 1.77 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 1.74 percent and the Nasdaq 1.79 percent.

Japanese and Hong Kong equities drifted, while Australian shares fell and South Korea was little changed. The yen continued to climb as political clouds gathered around Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso. The dollar and Treasury yields held declines. The U.S. inflation reading is the last major piece of data ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week.

Politics also remain in focus after President Donald Trump issued an executive order blocking Broadcom Ltd. from acquiring Qualcomm Inc., scuttling a $117 billion hostile takeover that had been subject of scrutiny over the deal's threat to US national security.

West Texas Intermediate crude held onto losses after decreasing 1.1 percent, to trade at $61.20 a barrel. Bitcoin was fractionally higher, holding above $9,000.

China data on industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all out on Wednesday are likely to point to slower growth, according to Bloomberg Economics.

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Raising its global growth forecasts, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the Fed would probably have to raise interest rates four times this year as inflation picks up.

The broader trend remained positive for Wall Street's main indexes, which had closed up almost 2 percent on Friday on the strength of the jobs report.

In commodities, crude oil prices staged a recovery after sliding on concerns over rising US output. Also this week, Germany's Angela Merkel is inaugurated to a fourth term, EU27 government officials discuss the European Union's Brexit position, and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond issues his spring statement.

The MSCI All-Country World index of stocks, which tracks shares in 47 countries was up less than 0.1 percent by 1149 GMT.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index gained 0.2 percent to the highest in nearly six weeks.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan firmed 0.4 percent.

Asian markets swung in and out of positive territory through the morning and by the end Tokyo was up 0.7 percent.

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Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.1 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index fluctuated.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.1 percent, trimming earlier gains. The euro was flat at $1.2335. The pound was steady at $1.3901. During the session, USA crude fell as much as 2.21 percent.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined 0.3 percent on Monday.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 2.87%.

Germany's 10-year yield decreased one basis point to 0.63 percent, the lowest in nearly seven weeks.

Australia's 10-year yield was steady at 2.81 percent.

Spot gold was steady on Monday at $1,323.14 an ounce.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Samuel Potter in London at

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