Asian Markets Tumble as PCE Data and Rate Rises Loom

Asian markets were mixed on Thursday, as US futures and stocks in the region dropped ahead of the release of the US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data.

The losses followed a positive day on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed higher after a three-day losing streak.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.9%, while the Topix index was 0.3% lower. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.8%, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.6%.

The Bank of Korea kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.25%, and investors are now looking ahead to the release of the US PCE data, which is expected to show a further rise in inflation.

Meanwhile, investors are also keeping an eye on the ongoing tensions between the US and China, as well as the upcoming meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The US Federal Reserve is also expected to release its minutes from its April meeting later in the day, which could provide further insight into its views on inflation and the economic outlook.