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Asian Equities Advance; Japan's CPI In Focus

Published 02/22/2018, 09:53 PM
Asian stocks advanced in morning trading Friday to end the week on a positive note

Investing.com - Asian stocks advanced in morning trading Friday to end the week on a positive note as the Dow and the S&P 500 reversed some of its midweek pullback, while comments from a Federal Reserve official eased concerns of speeding up rate hikes this year.

The U.S. markets were little changed Thursday, as the Dow added 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 closed just in the green, while the Nasdaq lost 0.11 percent. St Louis Fed President James Bullard warned that too many rate hikes this year would restrict economy growth, and that he did not expect the years of below-target inflation to change rapidly.

Japan’s CPI was in focus as the data showed inflation rose 0.9% in January from a year earlier, compared with a median market forecast of 0.8%. The data brought some uncertainty over the economic outlook as it showed the country’s inflation remains distant from the central bank’s 2% target. The yen was pressured by the stalling inflation as USD/JPY gained 0.10% to $106.86 by 10am ET. The Nikkei was up 0.34%. Takata Corp (OTC:TKTDQ) received some focus as the airbag maker reached a $650 million deal to settle consumer protection claims in the States.

Mainland Chinese markets extended their gains after surging more than 2% yesterday. Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component jumped 0.62% and 0.34% higher respectively. Anbang Insurance made headlines as China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission said it would take control of the company for one year as the company had illegal business operations that may harm its solvency, and had asked the company to remove Wu Xiaohui from its chairman role. China’s January property prices data is due tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index clawed back some of its losses today and gained 1.4%. Wynn received some focus as U.S. regulators said the investigation was still ongoing and would be a priority. Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau 's (HK:1128) share price was up 1.13% to $26.75.

Elsewhere, Australis’ S&P/ASX 200 was trading up 0.6% to 5,986.5, supported by the materials sector.

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