Asian markets mostly started Wednesday with gains, despite a day of losses on Wall Street and across Europe sparked by data showing red-hot US inflation. Hong Kong and Shanghai bucked the trend though, posting slight losses in morning trade. The US consumer price index surged 8.5pc in March compared with a year ago, the biggest jump since December 1981. CPI climbed 1.2pc over February’s level. The report was the first to fully encompass the shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow, which have caused energy and food prices to spike worldwide. Though the Federal Reserve was poised to raise interest rates quickly to tamp down inflation pressures, the effects will not be immediate. But Tokyo shrugged off the gloom, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 up by about 1.5pc. Shares in Seoul and Sydney were also up, while Mumbai was down. “Yes, US inflation was hot — it’s hottest in 40 years. But we’re getting used to these extreme headline prints now, to the point that markets looked past the whopping 8.5pc y/y print in favour of core CPI only rising 0.3pc compared to 0.5pc expected,” said Matthew Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index. “Besides, now high levels of inflation are no longer new news, the focus is now shifting to its trajectory and how long it may take to tail off.” “We’re hopeful that this is where (inflation is) going to peak,” Ann Miletti, head of active equity at Allspring Global Investments, told Bloomberg Television. But she added that markets continued to face the threat of rising rates and the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns in China, which have snarled supply chains. Both major crude oil contracts were back over $100 per barrel, with Brent topping $105, after Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to continue the invasion of Ukraine and China partially eased Covid-related curbs. “Oil seems to be the primary benefactor of Ukraine vs Russia conflict dragging out longer,” noted Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.