Stock market today: Asian shares mostly decline, as investors watch spending, inflation

TOKYO — Asian shares retreated Monday as investors awaited updates on consumer spending and inflation in the U.S. and other nations.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.5% to finish at 33,447.67 after the producer price index in October came in a little higher than expected, at 2.3%.

In China, industrial profits declined 7.8% in January-October compared with the year before. They rose 2.7% in October for a third monthly year-on-year increase, suggesting weakness in the economy. Industrial profits rose 11.9% year-on-year in September and 17.2% in August.

“While conditions have been improving, it also indicates that recovery has been slow. From the series of economic data lately, recovery momentum has also been on-and-off,” Yeap Jun Rong, a market analyst at IG, said in a commentary.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.3% to 17,513.01, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.4% to 3,028.89.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.8% to 6,987.60. South Korea’s Kospi shed less than 0.1% to 2,495.86.

Several central banks in the region are holding policy meetings this week, including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Bank of Korea and Bank of Thailand. While analysts expect them to stand pat on policy, attention remains relatively high, given concerns about inflation.

Wall Street ended last week mixed with a half-day trading session that capped a fourth straight winning week. The holiday shopping season kicked off with Black Friday amid concerns that spending may slow under pressure from dwindling savings, rising credit card debt and inflation.

The S&P 500 inched up 0.1% on Friday, at 4,559.34, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3% to 35,390.15. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1% to 14,250.85, as gains in health care and financial and energy sectors tempered losses in technology stocks.

Trading was muted as markets reopened following the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Gains in health care, financial, energy and other sectors helped temper losses in technology and communication services stocks.

Chipmaker Nvidia and Google parent Alphabet were among the biggest decliners, losing 1.9% and 1.3%, respectively. Among the big gainers in the S&P 500 were CF Industries, which rose 2.6%, and Best Buy, which closed 2.2% higher.

The major stock indexes’ latest weekly gains reflect a turnaround in the market’s sentiment in November following a three-month slide. Traders have grown cautiously optimistic that inflation has cooled enough for the Federal Reserve to finally be done with its market-crunching hikes to interest rates.

The Fed will get another big update this week when the government releases its October report for a key inflation measure tracked by the central bank.

In other trading early Monday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other loans, rose to 4.50% from 4.47%.

Benchmark U.S. crude declined 57 cents to $74.97 barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.56 to $75.54 a barrel on Friday.

Brent crude, the international standard, fell 60 cents to $79.88 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar inched down to 148.97 Japanese yen from 149.53 yen. The euro cost $1.0955, up from $1.0944.


Yuri Kageyama is on X, formerly Twitter

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