Asian markets are rallying, but Australia lags

The night skyline in Shanghai. Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images.

Stocks in Asia are mostly higher today despite falls on Wall Street overnight.

Once again it’s Chinese markets leading the way with the Shanghai Composite up a further 1.8%. Elsewhere Japan’s Nikkei, the South Korean KOSPI and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng are also higher by 0.9%, 0.5% and 0.4% respectively.

The Nikkei 225 index is through the 20,000 level again, after broaching it last week for the first time in 15 years.

Elsewhere Australia’s ASX 200 is off 0.7%, weighed down by a hotter-than-expected inflation print, with the STI in Singapore and JKSE in Indonesia also lower by 0.2%.

On the currency front the Australian Dollar is higher across the board, supported by reduced expectations for a RBA rate cut in May, with most other major currencies relatively unchanged from their closing level in New York.

Looking ahead upcoming data releases include US existing home sales along with the March MPC minutes from the Bank of England.

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