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Markets Rise, Tokyo Inflation Hits 42-Year High

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific traded higher on Friday as traders digested Tokyo’s January core consumer prices that rose 4.3%, also faster than estimates — nearing the highest for Japan’s capital since mid-1981.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 19.81 points, or 0.1%, Friday to 27,382.56.

The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond rose more than 3% to trade at 0.480%, inching close to the central bank’s upper ceiling of its yield curve tolerance range.

Consumer prices in Japan’s capital Tokyo rose by 4.3% in January, higher than expected by economists polled by Reuters.

The reading also maintained levels higher than the Bank of Japan’s target of 2% inflation for an eighth consecutive month after rising 2.1% in June 2022.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.3% after the data release and last traded at 129.82 against the US dollar.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Send Index grabbed 122.12 points, or 0.5%, to 22,688.90.

Private residential property prices in Singapore rose by 0.4% in the final quarter of 2022, a release by the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed.

The reading showed home prices rose less than the previous period’s increase of 3.8% and the slowest growth since the second quarter of 2020.

Home prices rose 8.6% in the full year of 2022, the release said, also less than then 10.6% increase seen in the full year of 2021.

The producer price index in Australia rose 5.8% for the final quarter of 2022 on an annualized basis, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.

The reading was slightly lower than the previous quarter’s print of 6.4%, a signal inflation may be easing in the nation.
On a quarterly basis, the index rose 0.7%, also slower than the previous period’s reading of 1.9%.

The Australian dollar strengthened slightly during Asia’s morning session and last traded at 0.7123 against the U.S. dollar.

In other markets

Markets in Taiwan and mainland China were closed for Chinese New Year.

In Korea, the Kospi took on 15.37 points, or 0.6%, to 2,484.02.

In Singapore, the Straits Times progressed 17.02 points, or 0.5%, to 3,394.21

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 was in the green 12.59 points, or 0.1%, to 12,036.05

In Australia, the ASX 200 climbed 25.54 points, or 0.3%, to 7,493.83.