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Asian Markets Mixed; China’s CPI Eases to 1.9% in December, Misses Estimates

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Thursday. China’s producer inflation data was in focus as it

Investing.com - Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Thursday. China’s producer inflation data was in focus as it rose less than expected for the month of December.

The Producer Price Index in December, which measures price increases before they reach the consumer, was up 0.9% from a year ago, lower than the expected 1.6%, official data showed.

The Consumer Price Index, a gauge of prices for goods and services, rose 1.9% year on year in December, compared to 2.2% in November.

The data was "consistent with evidence elsewhere of cooling domestic demand," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics.

The impact of the data had limited on Chinese stocks, as the Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component edged up 0.2% and 0.5% respectively in morning trade.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also gained 0.4%.

Meanwhile, China’s Commerce Ministry said in a Thursday morning statement the trade talks with the U.S. that ended yesterday were extensive and detailed, and that both sides agreed to continue to keep in close contact.

The U.S. side also issued a statement earlier in the day. According to the report, China had pledged to purchase "a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States.”

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 1.3%. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he expected the Japanese economy to continue expanding moderately.

"Japan's economy is expanding moderately" as rising household income underpins consumption, Kuroda said in a speech at a quarterly meeting of the central bank's regional branch managers.

South Korea’s KOSPI was unchanged at 2,065.0. Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 0.2%.

In other news, the Federal Reserve noted in the minutes of its Dec. 18-19 meeting that many participants said the committee could afford to be patient about further policy firming.

“Participants expressed that recent developments, including the volatility in financial markets and the increased concerns about global growth, made the appropriate extent and timing of future policy firming less clear than earlier,” the minutes said.

U.S. stocks closed higher following the release of the statement, with the Dow and the S&P 500 posting 4-day winning streaks.