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Asia report: Stocks mixed as core inflation jumps in Japan

By Josh White

Date: Friday 18 Nov 2022

Asia report: Stocks mixed as core inflation jumps in Japan

(Sharecast News) - Stocks were mixed on the last trading day of the week in Asia, as fresh data showed core inflation reaching its highest level in 40 years in Japan.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.11% at 27,899.77, as the yen strengthened 0.25% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 139.85.

Automation specialist Fanuc was down 0.41%, fashion firm Fast Retailing slipped 0.12%, and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group tumbled 3.86%.

The broader Topix index was 0.04% firmer by the end of trading in Tokyo, settling at 1,967.03.

Core consumer prices rose 3.6% year-on-year in Japan, making for the fastest pace of inflation in the notoriously inflation-allergic economy since 1982, and above expectations for a 3.5% increase.

"The Bank of Japan is likely to remain unmoved by the higher consumer price index, sticking to current monetary policy settings on the basis of its view that inflation in Japan is cost-push, driven by the weak yen and higher energy and raw material prices," said Duncan Wrigley at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

"The unexpected fall in third quarter GDP, as well as subdued consumer services prices, should confirm the Bank's view that domestic demand is weak and that inflation is not sustainable."

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was off 0.58% at 3,097.24, and the technology-heavy Shenzhen Component was 0.37% weaker at 11,180.43.

South Korea's Kospi managed gains of 0.06% to 2,444.48, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was 0.29% weaker at 17,992.54.

Technology plays NetEase and Tencent were in focus in the special administrative region, after both firms were granted licences for video games by the National Press and Publication Administration in Beijing.

NetEase ended the session up 3.67%, while Tencent Holdings was down 1.44%.

The blue-chip technology stocks were in the green in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics up 0.65% and SK Hynix ahead 0.8%.

Oil prices were weaker as the region entered the weekend, with Brent crude futures last down 0.67% on ICE at $89.18 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate 0.38% lower on NYMEX at $81.33.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.23% higher at 7,151.80, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 rose 0.76% to 11,380.61.

The down under dollars were both stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.43% at AUD 1.4894, and the Kiwi advancing 0.8% to NZD 1.6185.

Reporting by Josh White for


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