Economists expect inflation to hit historical levels 

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Stocks and central banks

Economists expect inflation to hit historical levels for May. 

According to the US Bureau of Statistics, the core consumer price index has increased 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. Thism in fact is the fastest annual pace in 28 years. 

Economists expect both core and headline CPI to increase by 0.5% in May. In addition, CPI is expected to jump by 4.7% year-over-year, the highest rate since sky-high energy prices spiked inflation readings in the fall of 2008. 

Diane Swonk, a chief economist at Grant Thornton, believes the worst for the second quarter of the year. 

Investors debate whether the period of rising prices is transitory or more persistent. If it turned out to be more pervasive, the central bank may be forced to withdraw its policies that kept interest rates low, and boosted liquidity.

Majority of Southeast Asian stock markets close with losses

Most Southeast Asian stock markets ended their sessions on Thursday with losses. They were attentive to the data on inflation from the United States and its economic policies.

The exception to the downtrend was Singapore and Jakarta’s trading sessions. They ended the day with profits.

In Singapore, the city-state stock market rose by 9.03 points or 0.29 percent. The Straits Times composite indicator stood at 3,162.50 units.

In Indonesia, the Jakarta stock gained 60.06 points, and the JCI index finished with 6,107.54 units.

The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in Malaysia lost 1.58 points, 0.10 percent, and the selective KLCI ended at 1,579.90 units.

In Thailand, the Bangkok stock declined by 1 point, 0.06 percent, and the SET index ended at 1,625.27 units.

The Manila Stock Exchange in the Philippines fell by 26.83 integers, 0.39 percent, and the PSEi composite index ended at 6,875.71 points.

In Vietnam, the VN Index of the Ho Chi Minh stock (the former Saigon) settled with 1,323.58 units after falling by 9.32 integers or 0.70 percent.

Hong Kong market closes flat pending US inflation data

The Hong Kong stock market had limited movement today, waiting for the US inflation data to offer some sign of adjustment in the US stimulus policy. Thus its benchmark index, the Han Seng, lost 0.01%, to 28,738.38 points.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises gained 0.11% to 10,716.28 points.

The Energy subindex lost 0.1%, and the Financial sector decreased by 0.73%. Meanwhile, the technology sector climbed by 0.23%, and real estate also gained 0.75%.

Among the day’s winners, the electric vehicle manufacturer BYD stood out, which climbed 6.36%. Among the losers was the restaurant chain Haidilao, with a fall of 2.82%.

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