The markets were mixed in Asia on Tuesday. After hitting a five-year high on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei opened strong but sweat off the gains by closing time, and ended the day flat. The Hang Seng closed up 0.70 percent, the S&P/ASX 200 closed up 1.45 percent, and the S&P BSE SENSEX index in India closed the day down 1.15 percent.
Mining stocks, encouraged by Alcoa’s (NYSE:AA) earnings beat last night and new inflation data from China, led European markets to modest gains in mid-day trading. Germany’s DAX was up 0.28 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.48 percent, and the STOXX 50 was up 0.61 percent.
U.S. futures at 8:25 a.m.: DJIA: +0.08%, S&P 500: +0.18%, NASDAQ: +0.31%.
Here are three stories to keep an eye on:
1) A mild increase in China’s consumer price index helped boost stocks on Tuesday. China’s CPI rose just 2.1 percent year over year in March, less than the 2.4 percent gain that was the consensus expectation of a Dow Jones Newswires survey. This compares against a 3.2 percent increase in February. For the first three months of the year, China’s CPI is up 2.4 percent, which compares against a 3.8 percent increase in the year-ago period.
This relatively moderate increase has eased some concerns that China will tighten its monetary policy. New data also showed that the producer prices in march fell 1.9 percent year over year, in line with expectations. This follows a 1.6 percent year-over-year decline in February. Some analysts are expecting to see traditional monetary tightening in China in the second half of the year…