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Asian shares mostly higher after Wall Street tech rally

TOKYO (AP) – Asian shares mostly rose yesterday as investors tried to gauge United States (US) inflation, tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the impact of the pandemic.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 per cent to 27,680.91. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1 per cent to 7,275.70. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.1 per cent to 2,771.88. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged down 0.1 per cent to 24,803.59, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed at 3,480.49.

Wall Street will get another update yesterday on rising prices when the Labor Department releases its report on inflation for January. Economists are forecasting that consumer prices rose 7.3 per cent, a four-decade high.

“Equity futures are also looking positive for both US and Asian stock markets at present ahead of the US January CPI release,” said Regional Head of Research, Asia-Pacific at ING Robert Carnell in a report, referring to the report on consumer prices expected soon.

Japan extended measures in Tokyo and some other places to curb outbreaks of the coronavirus for three weeks, until March 6, to try to bring the spread of the Omicron variant under control.

The restrictions, mostly requests to restaurants to close early, had been scheduled to end on Sunday. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s decision follows requests from governors in areas where daily infection cases are overwhelming hospitals.

Currency traders at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul. PHOTO: AP

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