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Wall Street Momentum Boosts Asia

Asia-Pacific markets rose Thursday after Wall Street benchmarks closed at record highs overnight on soft inflation data, while investors assessed Japan GDP data.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index zoomed 534.53 points, or 1.4%, to 38,920.26.

U.S. consumer price index rose 0.3% in April, below the 0.4% rise predicted by the Dow Jones. U.S. CPI climbed 3.4% year over year, in line with market estimates.

Japan’s first-quarter GDP contracted at an annualized rate of 2%, more than the 1.5% expected in a Reuters poll. The latest data could likely jeopardize the Bank of Japan’s plans to raise interest rates.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index returned from holiday to jump 302.82 points, or 1.6%, to 19.376.53.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company said there was no damage to its facilities at its Arizona factory construction site, according to Reuters, following a report of an explosion at the plant.

A worker at TSMC’s Arizona plant was taken to a hospital with serious injuries following an explosion, the Arizona Republic reported earlier, citing authorities.

Tencent’s Hong Kong-listed shares rose 4.5% after the Chinese tech giant beat analysts’ estimates for revenue and profit in the first quarter.

The company reported slightly better sales in its core gaming business and improved profitability in its advertising and business services division late on Tuesday.

Revenue of 159.5 billion Chinese yuan ($22 billion U.S.) in the first quarter topped analysts’ expectations of 158.4 billion yuan. Profit attributable to shareholders came in at 41.9 billion yuan versus expectations of 36.64 billion yuan.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 restored 14.3 points, or 0.4%, to 3,640.36.

In Korea, the Kospi index returned after a Wednesday holiday to pick up 22.66 points, or 0.8%, to 2,753.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index regained 15.57 points, or 0.5%, to 3,304.99.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index jumped 157.05 points, or 0.7%, to 21,304.26.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index restocked 202.18 points, or 1.8%, to 11,728.06.

In Australia, the ASX 200 climbed 127.59 points, or 1.7%, to 7,881.29.