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Asia report: Nikkei jumps higher on return from holiday

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 13 Feb 2024

Asia report: Nikkei jumps higher on return from holiday

(Sharecast News) - Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region showed a mixed performance on Tuesday, with notable movements in Japan and South Korea, while markets in China, Hong Kong, and other regions remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Japan's main index briefly surpassed the 38,000 mark for the first time since the country's asset bubble burst in 1990, before retracing some gains by the session's end

"Equities in the Asia-Pacific region saw a notable uptick, particularly in Japan's Nikkei 225, which surged nearly 3% fueled by gains in the tech sector," said Patrick Munnelly at TickMill Group.

"However, European and US equity futures display a more mixed sentiment ahead of the crucial US inflation data release later today.

"The Bank of England Governor hinted at the possibility of a technical recession in the latter part of last year, though he emphasised that any recession would likely be shallow, underscoring the importance of positive forward-looking indicators."

Japan finishes higher on return from holiday

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.89% to close at 37,963.97, while the Topix index recorded an increase of 2.12% to 2,612.03.

Leading the gains on Tokyo's benchmark were Tokyo Electron, Tokio Marine Holdings, and MS&AD Insurance Group, with increases of 13.33%, 11%, and 10.82%, respectively.

South Korea's Kospi index rose by 1.12%, reaching a level of 2,649.64, led higher by EcoPro Materials, Krafton, and Hanmi Science, with respective gains of 21.58%, 7.48%, and 6.98%.

On the downside, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index experienced a slight decline of 0.15%, closing at 7,603.60.

Major decliners in Sydney included Breville Group, James Hardie Industries, and Seek, with decreases of 8.49%, 8.46%, and 4.55%, respectively.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 index also saw a marginal decline of 0.16%, ending at 11,739.68.

Wellington's losses were led by Pacific Edge, Oceania Healthcare, and Restaurant Brands New Zealand, with respective declines of 7.22%, 2.94%, and 2.75%.

In currency markets, the dollar was last 0.11% stronger on the yen to trade at JPY 149.51, as it rose 0.19% against the Aussie to AUD 1.5341, and climbed 0.38% on the Kiwi to change hands at NZD 1.6373.

On the oil front, both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate futures saw moderate gains, with the former last up 1.05% on ICE to $82.86 per barrel, and the NYMEX quote for the latter increasing 1% to $77.69.

Corporate inflation tops expectations in Japan in January

In economic news, Japan's corporate goods price index (CGPI) demonstrated resilience, surpassing economists' expectations for January.

The index rose by 0.2% compared to the same period last year, outpacing the 0.1% growth anticipated by economists surveyed by Reuters.

That positive growth contrasted with December's revised rate of 0.2%.

On a month-on-month basis, corporate inflation in Japan remained stagnant, signalling a slowdown from the 0.3% seen in December.

The CGPI serves as a crucial measure of price fluctuations for goods traded within the corporate sector, offering insights into economic trends and inflationary pressures.

Reporting by Josh White for


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