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Nikkei Balloons to Just South of 40K

Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended just short of breaching the 40,000 level, leading gains in Asia stocks on Friday, while China markets rose as investors digested manufacturing data from the mainland.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index barreled forward 744.63 points, or 1.9%, to 39,910.82, a fresh record high.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index regained 78 points, or 0.5%, to 16,589.44.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 21.72 points, or 0.6%, to 3,537.80.

Official data showed China’s February manufacturing PMI at 49.1, in line with a Reuters Poll forecast. The private Caixin manufacturing final PMI came in at 50.9, slightly higher than the previous month’s 50.8.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below that denotes a contraction.

In other markets

Korean markets were shuttered for the Movement Day holiday.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index slid 30.84 points, or 0.2%, or 0.2%, to 18,935.93.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index edged back 6.09 points, or 0.1%, to 3,135.76.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 inched up 2.92 points to 11,744.39.

In Australia, the ASX 200 advanced 46.91 points, or 0.6%, to 7,745.61.