Asian stocks fell in early trading on Wednesday, on the heels of a day in which U.S. stocks plummeted after investors were surprised by a report showing stubbornly high price increases in August.
Japanese stocks were down about 2.2 percent as of midday Wednesday in Tokyo. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was down by just over 2.5 percent, and Australia’s stock exchange had fallen by nearly as much. The CSI 300 Index of large Chinese companies’ share prices was down by nearly one percent.
Investors in the United States were caught off guard on Tuesday by a report showing that consumer prices had risen by 8.3 percent in the year through August. That cut against economists’ expectations and threw doubt over the belief that inflation had peaked.
By the end of Tuesday, the S&P 500 had slumped 4.3 percent, the benchmark index’s biggest drop since the depths of the coronavirus pandemic in June 2020.