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Asian shares down as U.S. inflation revives taper jitters

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SHANGHAI Reuters Asian shares fell on Wednesday after data showing the biggest jump in U.S. inflation in 13 years fuelled investor expectations that the Federal Reserve could exit pandemicera stimulus earlier than previously thought.

The U.S. consumer price index jumped 0.9 in June, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. That was above market expectations and the largest gain since June 2008.

Global shares have rallied in recent weeks, sending MSCIs broadest gauge of global stocks to a record high on Tuesday, as investors bet on a global economic recovery that is just weak enough to permit central banks to retain a dovish policy.

Ruffling a complacent market, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand RBNZ on Wednesday unexpectedly announced it would end its bond purchase programme from next week, sending the Kiwi dollar sharply higher as markets bet that a rate hike is now imminent.

Shares in Europe were set for a lower open on Wednesday as investors reassessed the policy outlook.

Panregion Euro Stoxx 50 futures were last down 0.26, while German DAX futures fell 0.34 and Frances CAC 40 futures slipped 0.33.

FTSE futures lost 0.27.

Against the background of higher, longer U.S. inflation, a taper coming earlier seems to be the likely direction of travel as far as policy goes, said Rob Carnell, INGs AsiaPacfic head of research.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.24, as Chinese bluechips fell 1.08, Hong Kongs Hang Seng slipped 0.7 and Seouls…

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