Asia Markets Mixed; Japan Inflation Eases But Stays Above BOJ Target

Asian markets will open mixed after a Wall Street tech rally, with investors monitoring inflation data out of Japan and Singapore.

Asia Markets Mixed; Japan Inflation Eases But Stays Above BOJ Target

This is CNBC Live Blog covering Asia-Pacific markets.

Investors are awaiting inflation data from Japan and Singapore as well as the flash estimates of the au Jibun Bank on Japan's manufacturing, services and activity.

The Japanese language is the

Nikkei 225

The Topix fell by 1.41%, and the Dow also dropped 1.34%. Japan's core rate of inflation in May was 3.2%, down from April's previous 3.4%, but still higher than the BOJ's target of 2%. Core inflation in May was slightly higher than the 3.1% economists polled for Reuters.

South Korea


The Kosdaq fell by 0.71% but extended gains made on Thursday, resulting in a marginal rise.


S&P/ASX 200

After two consecutive days of losses, and after its biggest one-day drop in June, on Thursday, the stock was down 0.95%%.

Hong Kong has also been a separate entity.

Hang Seng index

As it returns from a holiday, health care and tech stocks are dragging the market down. The Mainland Chinese market is closed Friday for a holiday.

Both the

Nasdaq Composite

Then, there is the

S&P 500

The Nasdaq and S&P both ended the day higher after a three-day loss streak. The S&P 500 was up 0.37%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.95%.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The team's losing streak now stands at four days.

This report was contributed by CNBC's Sarah Min, Yun Li and Sarah Min.

The expansion of Japan's economic activity slowed down in June, according to the Jibun Bank

Japan's Business Activity

Expanding at a slower pace

According to the flash estimates of the au Jibun Bank, in June, there were a total of 4,565 people.

The composite purchasing manager index dropped to 52.3, compared to 54.3, in May.

A PMI above 50 indicates growth in the sector. However, a PMI below 50 indicates contraction.

The manufacturing PMI fell to 48.4 from May's 50.9.

The services sector remained in an expansionary phase, but the growth was softer. The June PMI was 54.2, compared to May's 55.9.

-- Lim Hui Jie

Japan's inflation rate slows down in May but core inflation remains higher than expected

Japan's headline Inflation Rate

The 3.2% figure is the highest ever recorded.

In May, the rate of inflation fell to 3.5% from April's record high.

The core inflation rate, which excludes fresh food prices, was also 3.2%. This is slightly lower than the 3.4% in April, but above the 3.1% predicted by economists polled at Reuters.

The consumer price index was above the Bank of Japan price target of 2 percent for the 14th consecutive month.

-- Lim Hui Jie

Powell: Fed rate hikes can be lowered

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman, was asked multiple times Thursday where the interest rate is headed. He said that the focus should instead be on the Fed's speed of movement.

He insisted that policymakers are still committed to using rate hikes to bring down inflation but will move more slowly than during a rapid run of increases dating back to March 20, 2022.

Powell told the Senate Banking Committee, "I believe the data will show us what we should do." "I believe the purpose of our last meeting was to slow down the pace at which we made decisions on this issue, as it was important last year to make quick decisions, and that's what we did. It's no longer so important.

--Jeff Cox

Oil drops more than 4%


Traded down more than 4%

after the larger-than-anticipated interest rate hike from the Bank of England overshadowed crude inventory slides.

Brent futures

The price of a barrel dropped $3.33 or 4.3% to $73.79 per barrel. Meanwhile,

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures

WTI, as it is commonly called, fell $3.41 or 4.7% to $69.12 per barrel.

Analysts were surprised by the news that U.S. supplies had fallen, but they focused on the English bank's increase.

Alex Harring

Bowman supports additional interest rate increases

Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman, a central banker, is one of those who believes that interest rates need to be increased more in order to bring inflation down to an acceptable level.

Last week, the Federal Open Market Committee (of which Bowman is an elector) decided to keep rates unchanged, but indicated that there would likely be additional increases by 2023.

Bowman, in remarks for a Cleveland speech, said: "I support the FOMC’s decision last weekend to maintain the federal funds target range and continue to reduce the Fed’s securities holdings. However, I believe additional policy rate hikes will be needed to bring inflation to our target in the long run."

She added that rates will need to rise to "a sufficiently restrictive position" to bring inflation closer to the Fed’s 2% target.

--Jeff Cox

Last week, the number of jobless claims was higher than expected

Last week's initial jobless claims remained unchanged, but were still higher than expected by economists.

The week ending June 17 saw 264,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits.

Labor Department reported Thursday

This was higher than the Dow Jones estimate of 256,000.

The number of continuing claims fell to 1.759 millions, below FactSet's estimate of 1.782million.

--Jeff Cox