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U.S. PPI, Japan shunto , China MLF

A man walks past the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) building on July 20, 2023 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jiang Qiming/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

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Asia-Pacific markets were set to fall after producer prices in the U.S. grew faster than expected in February, coming in at 0.6% last month.

Excluding food and energy prices, core PPI climbed 0.3% in February. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected a 0.3% gain for headline PPI and a 0.2% increase for the core reading. 

Investors in Asia will be watching out for any news from Japan’s spring wage negotiations, with first estimates expected to come out later in the day.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was set for a weaker open, with the futures contract in Chicago at 38,355 and its counterpart in Osaka at 38,330 against the index’s last close of 38,807.38

China’s central bank will also be in focus, with the People’s Bank of China expected to keep its one-year medium term lending facility rate unchanged at 2.5%.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 16,798, also pointing to a lower open compared with the HSI’s close of 16,961.66

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.28% to hit its lowest level in about three weeks.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes lost ground as the hot inflation report sent bond yields higher, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury adding about 10 basis points to 4.29%.

This put pressure on equities, with the 30-stock Dow down 0.35%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3%, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.29%.

— CNBC’s Brian Evans and Lisa Kailai Han contributed to this report

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