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Asian Stock Markets Close Higher as Tokyo Inflation Hits 42-Year High

Asian stock markets closed higher on Monday, as investors eased recession fears in the United States. In Tokyo, the Nikkei ended up at 27,382.56, a slight increase of 19.81 points or +0.07%, despite concerns that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) may switch to tighter monetary policy. Top performers on the Nikkei were Shin-Etsu Chemical+4.09%, Yaskawa Electric Corp.+3.70%, and Chiba Bank+2.99%, while the worst performers were Nippon Yusen K.K-3.95%, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines-3.65%, and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha-3.05%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7,493.80 points, an increase of 25.50 points or +0.34%, and the All Ordinaries closed at 7,709.50 points, an increase of 21.50 points or +0.28%. The index reached near the highest level in 9 months as financial stocks and the tech sector rose in line with the US stock market. The top performers were Megaport Ltd+7.22%, St Barbara+5%, and Nuix+4%, while the worst performers were Whitehaven Coal-6.64%, Regis Resources-4.85%, and Pibara Minerals Ltd-4.11%.

The South Korea Composite Index (KOSPI) closed up for a fifth consecutive day at 2,484.02, up 15.37 points or +0.62%, supported by institutional and foreign investors buying shares of the tech giant. While the won depreciated against the US dollar. The top performers were Uangel+20.28%, Ascendio+15.08%, and Ktcs+12.01%, while the worst performers were Meritz Fire In-4.97%, Han Kook Steel-4.94%, and Songwon Industrial-4.45%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended up at 22,688.90, up 122.12 points or +0.54%, as investors eased recession concerns in the United States after the country revealed the gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2022 that was higher than expected. Top performers on the Hang Seng were HPC+41.38%, Hi-Level Tech+35.88%, and China Eco-Farming+34.62%, while the worst performers were Perfect Optronics Ltd-19.23%, China Internet Investment FInance-17.70%, and Beijing Sport and Entertainment-17.50%.

Chinese stock markets were closed on Monday for Chinese New Year.

In Thailand, the SET closed at 1,681.30 points, up 9.95 points or -0.60%, supported by foreign markets that mostly stood positive after US economic recession concerns eased. The top performers were Better World Green+15.12%, Asian Phytochemicals+13%, and Thaire Life Insurance+10.43%, while the worst performers were New City (Bangkok) -6.67% and Wave Entertainment -5.88%.

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