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Asia markets range-bound as Wall Street rally falters; India inflation data on deck

·1 min

Asia-Pacific markets were range-bound on Thursday after Wall Street’s tech-fueled rally faded. Investors were focused on Japan’s spring wage negotiations and India’s wholesale inflation data. Japan’s wage negotiations concluded with large firms offering significant wage hikes. Strong wage increases could lead to the Bank of Japan unwinding its ultra easy monetary policy. The Nikkei 225 slipped as markets priced in the possibility of the BOJ tightening policy. South Korea’s Kospi climbed, while the Kosdaq index slipped. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index resumed its climb after snapping a three-day winning streak. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was lower. Overnight, major US indexes closed mixed with tech giants falling after February US inflation data came in nearly in line with expectations. Australian gold miners saw a surge in shares as spot gold prices neared all-time highs. Crude oil futures jumped after Ukraine struck refineries in Russia, highlighting risks to production and fuel supplies. AI could automate customer support requests, benefitting companies in the gig economy. Tesla shares lost ground after a downgrade from Wells Fargo, citing moderated growth and the effects of price cuts.