GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks up, dollar squeezed as inflation pulls forward rate hike bets

 GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks up, dollar squeezed as inflation pulls forward rate hike bets

* MSCI AxJ index up 0.4%; Nikkei up 1%

* Treasury yield curve flattens; dollar rally pauses

* Fed speakers, U.S. PPI data awaited

By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Asian stock markets rose, the dollar eased and longer-dated bonds rallied on Thursday as investors reckoned on inflation bringing forward rate hikes around the world.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.4%. Japan’s Nikkei climbed 1%.

The Shanghai Composite was marginally softer while Hong Kong markets were closed for a holiday.

Overnight figures showed another solid increase in U.S. consumer prices, while minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers’ growing concern about inflation and a general agreement to start tapering asset purchases soon.

Traders responded by bringing forward rate-hike expectations but lowering the projected peak. Fed Funds futures pulled forward the first hike from late in 2022 to almost…

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