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Asia Mostly Higher After U.S. Inflation Report

Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose even as inflation in the U.S. inflation rate in August came in hotter than expected, at 3.7% compared to economists’ expectations of 3.6% in a Dow Jones survey.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index recovered, and then some, popping 461.58 points, or 1.4%, to 33,168.10, breaking above the 33,000 mark for the second time in over two months.

While the markets are expecting the Bank of Japan to exit its ultra-easy monetary policy, Daiwa Securities’ deputy president Keiko Tashiro thinks these moves may not come as soon as some think.

BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda reportedly told the Yomiuri newspaper that the central bank may have enough information by year-end to judge if wages will continue to rise — a key factor the bank considers in monetary policy.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rebounded 38.7 points, or 0.2%, to 18,047.92.

Month-on-month, the U.S. consumer price index rose 0.6% in August, in line with expectations. In July, the CPI rose 3.2% year-on-year and 0.2% month-on-month.

However, excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core CPI rose 4.3%, in line with estimates and down from 4.7% in July. Federal Reserve officials focus more on core as it provides a better indication of where inflation is heading over the long term.

Australian markets gained, as unemployment numbers in August held steady at 3.7%, matching analysts’ forecasts.

In other markets

The CSI 300 lost 3.14 points, or 0.1%, to 3,733.51.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index climbed 226.05 points, or 1.4%, to 16,807.56.

In Singapore, the Straits Times gained 30.58 points, or 1%, to 3,249.51.

In Korea, the Kospi index moved higher 38.19 points, or 1.5%, to 2,572.59.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 sagged 43.58 points, or 0.4%, to 11,313.54.

In Australia, the ASX 200 improved 32.64 points, or 0.5%, to 7,186.55.