China inflation data, the Fed, coronavirus in focus

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to dip at the open on Wednesday, ahead of the release of Chinese inflation data for May.

Futures pointed to a lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,925 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,870. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,091.03.

Shares in Australia were also set to trade lower, with the SPI futures contract at 6,098, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,144.90.

On the economic data front, Chinese inflation data for May is set to be released on Wednesday, with both the Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index for the month expected to be out at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

Investors will also await the release of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s economic forecast, expected on Wednesday stateside.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite rose

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English property market rebounds on pent-up demand

A release of demand for property in England, suppressed by the lockdown, pushed the number of sales agreed in early June above pre-coronavirus levels. 

Buyers returned to a market effectively shut from March 27 until May 12, data from the property portal Zoopla, estate agent Savills, and property data company TwentyCi show.

The rebound in sales was quicker than most analysts expected. But the surge in transactions — which in some segments of the market have doubled in the past week — is likely to be temporary because much of the demand came from buyers who had been forced to pause moves.

TwentyCi recorded 22,893 agreed sales in the first week of June, 6 per cent more than in the same period in 2019, and 54 per cent up on the last week of May. 

According to Zoopla, sales agreed in the first week of June were 12.6 per cent

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Car scrappage scheme to boost sales ‘unlikely’, say ministers

Ministers have warned the British motor industry that there is no guarantee of a “scrappage scheme” to boost car sales as part of a post-lockdown stimulus, amid deep divisions within the sector over the type of incentives it would like.

The car industry was jubilant after reports at the weekend that Downing Street could bring in a £6,000 payment for people who sell their older vehicles and replace them with electric or hybrid cars — in line with similar schemes on the continent. 

But four senior officials told the FT that while the idea had been considered inside the Treasury there was no guarantee it would happen. “It was being considered at one point, in the same way Labour did something similar in the early 2000s, but at the moment it is very unlikely,” said one. 

The Treasury and Downing Street are debating ways of rescuing the economy from a

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Coronavirus lockdown: Which shops will open next week? | UK News

After 11 weeks of lockdown, thousands of high street shops, department stores and markets across England – as well as zoos and safari parks – can start reopening from next week.

In the latest easing of coronavirus lockdown measures, from Monday 15 June non-essential shops will be able to open their doors for the first time since 23 March.

And zoos and other outdoor attractions where people stay in their cars, such as safari parks and drive-in cinemas, will also be allowed to re-open on the same day.

Pubs and restaurants not opening yet

However, other businesses – including pubs, restaurants and hairdressers – will remain shut until 4 July at the earliest.

Here’s how the lockdown is being eased:

From 15 June:

  • Non-essential retailers, including clothes shops and indoor markets, will be allowed to re-open if they have completed a COVID-19 risk assessment and can implement social distancing measures
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