Asian stocks follow Wall St lower on inflation fears

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are lower as investors look ahead to U.S. data they worry will show inflation picking up. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Southeast Asian markets declined. Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.9% amid concern inflation might accelerate, hampering an economic recovery and dragging on share prices. Investor concern is increasing following a price rise for industrial materials including copper and crude oil. The Federal Reserve has said the U.S. economy will be allowed to “run hot” to ensure a recovery is established. Despite that, investors worry rising prices might pressure central banks to pull back stimulus and raise near-zero interest rates.

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