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Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumps 2% as Asia stocks rise; China’s January inflation slows more than expected

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade, as investors looked ahead to China’s inflation data. Meanwhile, tensions appear to ease between Russia and Ukraine, boosting markets.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.45% in early trade while the Topix index gained 1.33%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi advanced 1.66%.

Elsewhere in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.32%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.31% higher.

Looking ahead, China’s inflation data for January is set to be released on Wednesday, with the consumer price index and producer price index both expected to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN today.

Russia’s government announced Tuesday that Moscow is starting to return some troops at the Ukrainian border, though NATO’s chief warned that the military alliance has so far “not seen any sign of de-escalation on the ground from the Russian side.”

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 422.67 points to 34,988.84 while the S&P 500 climbed 1.58% to 4.471.07. The Nasdaq Composite surged 2.53% to 14,139.76.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.989 — off levels above 96 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.63 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 115.2 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7145, largely holding on to gains after bouncing from below $0.71 earlier in the week.

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