Asia-Pacific Markets Rise

Asia-Pacific markets climbed on Friday as upbeat economic data from Japan sent the country’s Topix stock index to a 34-year high, while investors awaited U.S. inflation readings due later in the day.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index came back with a vengeance Friday, gaining 241.54 points, or 0.6%, to 39,583.08.

The Japanese yen hit fresh 38-year lows against the greenback, weakening to as low as 161.27 against the dollar. Japan replaced Masato Kanda with Atsushi Mimura as its top currency diplomat, according to Nikkei.

Headline inflation for Japan’s capital city of Tokyo accelerated to 2.3% in June from a year earlier, up from 2.2% in May. The core inflation rate —which strips out prices of fresh food — rose to 2.1% from 1.9% in May.

Tokyo inflation data is widely considered to be a leading indicator for nationwide trends.

The country’s industrial production grew 2.8% month on month in May, beating expectations of 2% from economists polled by Reuters. On a year-on-year basis, industrial production rose 0.3%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index inched higher 2.14 points to 17,718.61.

South Korea saw its retail sales for May slip 0.2% year on year, a softer fall compared to April’s revised figure of a 0.8% drop. This is the first time since July 2023 that South Korea has recorded two straight months of declines.

In other markets

New Zealand markets were closed for holiday.

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 reclaimed 7.54 points, or 0.2%, to 3,461.66.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index lost 10.55 points, or 0.3%, to 3,332.80.

In Korea, the Kospi index took on 13.76 points, or 0.5%, to 2,797.82.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index regained 126.27 points, or 0.6%, to 23,032.25.

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved up 7.88 points, or 0.1%, to 7,767.47.

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