Asian markets mixed as investors’ focus shifts to inflation

Asian markets mixed as investors’ focus shifts to inflation

Stocks fall in Tokyo and Hong Kong

BEIJING — Asian stock markets were mixed Friday after Wall Street hit a record and Japanese inflation eased.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +1.13% rose 0.2% while the Nikkei 225 NIK, +0.50% in Tokyo fell 0.4% and the Hang Seng HSI, -1.07% in Hong Kong sank 0.5%.

The Kospi 180721, +0.80% in Seoul advanced 0.6% and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.23% added 0.2% . Stocks declined in Singapore STI, -0.14% and Taiwan Y9999, -0.13%, but advanced in Indonesia JAKIDX, +1.26%.

Investors are shifting focus from corporate earnings to the longer-term outlook for global economies and whether central banks might feel pressure to cool rising prices by rolling back stimulus faster than planned.

Inflation is “currently the main focal area for the markets,” Fawad Razaqzada of ThinkMarkets said in a report.

On Friday, Japan’s government reported October consumer inflation eased to 0.1% over a year earlier from the previous month’s 0.2%.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.14% rose to 4,704.54 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.75% slipped 0.2% to 35,870.95. The Nasdaq composite COMP, +0.40% gained 72.14 points to 15,993.71.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude CLZ21 rose 65 cents to $79.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude BRNF22, -0.29%, used as the price basis for international oils, gained 72 cents to $81.96 per barrel in London.

The dollar USDJPY, -0.20% rose to 114.38 yen from Thursday’s 114.27 yen.

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