Asian shares down on China inflation data

<p> Investors also worried about a possible early interest rate hike in the US.</p>

Key indexes in Asia mostly fell today (March 10th) after the release of mixed Chinese inflation data. The country's wholesale prices fell 4.8 per cent year-on-year in February, compared to forecasts of a 4.3 per cent fall.

However, China's consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.4 per cent year-on-year, beating analysts expectations of a 0.9 per cent rise. The Shanghai Composite finished 0.5 per cent lower today.

"When you see producer prices fall 4.8 per cent, then this has the added concern that corporate margins are being hit as the end product that businesses are producing is ultimately falling. Hence the equity market is under pressure today," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, quoted by CNBC.

Investors also worried about the possibility of an early interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve after the release of better-than-expected US government employment data for February.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 per cent to 18,733.31 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2 per cent to 1,989.72. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged 0.5 per cent down to 24,105.60. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 per cent to 5,812.40.

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