Asian stock markets close higher while investors await U.S. inflation data

The Tokyo Nikkei closed up 3.82 points, or +0.01%, at 26,449.82 after 5 days on hopes that the Federal Reserve (Fed) may slow its rate hike. However, the appreciation of the yen against the dollar overshadowed this positive factor. The winners were Mizuho Financial+5.41%, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial+5.02%, and Pacific Metals+4.99%. The losers were Shiseido-2.72%, Tokyo Tatemono-2.72%, and Eisai-2.61%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7,280.40 points, up 85.10 points or +1.18%, and the All Ordinaries closed at 7,489.90 points, up 83.50 points or +1.13%, driven by buying in mining stocks on expectations that China’s opening will boost demand for commodities. Mesoblast+7.26%, Codan+4.57%, and Pilbara Minerals Ltd+4.52% were the winners. The losers were Kogan.com-3.83%, Gold Road Resources-2.99%, and Westgold Resources-2.63%.

The South Korean Composite (KOSPI) ended up 5.57 points, or +0.24%, at 2,365.1 for the seventh consecutive day, buoyed by hopes that the Federal Reserve (Fed) may slow interest rate hikes, while the South Korean won strengthened against the dollar. The winners were Hae In+30%, IIshinstone+24.31%, and Central Motek+14.96%. The losers were GkI-7.51%, Kumbi-7.45%, and Jeil Pharm-5.90%.

China’s Shanghai Composite closed slightly higher at 3,163.45 points, up 1.61 points or +0.05%, in light trading ahead of the New Year holiday. Investors fear a greater spread of COVID-19 in China, as well as other uncertainties that may occur during the closure of the Chinese stock market due to the New Year. The best performers were Suzhou Qingyue Optoelectronics+19.96%, Shenzhen Microgate Tech+15.78%, and Jiangsu Kuangshun Photosensitivity+13.81%. The worst performers were Shenyang Xingqi Pharma-10.84%, Sichuan Chengfei A-10.02%, and Soyea A-10.01%.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed up 78.05 points, or 0.36%, at 21,514.10 points. The best performers were Wai Chun Mining Industry (+57.14%), Richly Field China Development (+46.15%), and Steed Oriental (+34.57%). The worst performers were Yida China-25.86%, Baiying Holdings Group Ltd-25.45%, and Link Holdings Ltd-23.91%.

In Thailand, the SET closed at 1,687.45 points, up 1.70 points or +0.10%. The winners were PP Prime+25%, Medical Culture+17.49%, and Wave Entertainment+14.29%. The losers were Esso -17.12%, Jasmine Telecom Systems -6.47%, and Samart Digital -6.25%.

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