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Japan Nears All-Time High

Hong Kong markets led gains in Asia on Friday, with Japan’s markets hitting a fresh 34-year high as it attempted to scale its all-time peak.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 vaulted 329.3 points, or 0.9%, to 38,487.24.

The index gave up its earlier gains, a day after the country lost its spot as the third-largest global economy to Germany and reported a technical recession.

The economic slowdown in Japan has raised hopes it may stick with its ultra-loose monetary policy for longer, even as the country’s finance minister has reportedly raised concerns on yen’s weakness.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index popped 395.33 points, or 2.5%, to 16,339.96.

Investors also await Singapore 2024 budget, slated to be released later in the day.

In other markets,

Markets in Shanghai remained shuttered for the Lunar New Year.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index moved forward 45.25 points, or 1.4%, to 3,221.94.

In Korea, the Kospi regained 34.96 points, or 1.3%, to 2,648.76.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index faltered 37.32 points, or 0.2%, to 18,607.25.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 recovered 84.44 points, or 0.7%, to 11,724.48.

In Australia, the ASX 200 gained 52.6 points, or 0.7%, to 7,658.32.