Asia markets in positive territory after record highs on Wall Street

Asia markets traded in largely positive territory in the morning on the final trading day of the week, following record highs on Wall Street.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 continued to advance by 0.5 percent in the morning, with the insurance sector rising by 1.93 percent. The moves came following after a data release earlier showed that the country’s nationwide core consumer price index for the month of August rose 0.9 percent compared to a year ago. It was in line with expectations from a Reuters poll but still off the Bank of Japan’s inflation target of 2 percent.

“It will be difficult for the Japan inflation (rate) to reach 2 percent before the consumption tax rate is raised,” Takuji Okubo, chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors, told CNBC, in reference to the Japanese government’s plan to raise the consumption tax rate from 8 to 10 percent in 2019.

South Korea’s Kospi continued to trade higher by 0.16 percent despite losing some of its earlier gains, as memory chipmaker SK Hynix saw its stock tumbling by 3.29 percent.

Down Under, the ASX 200 rose by 0.5 percent, as the financial sector saw gains of 0.53 percent with most major banks trading in positive territory. Commonwealth Bank of Australia was up by 0.64 percent while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group rose by 0.65 percent.

In the Greater China region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index saw gains of around 0.3 percent in the morning. Meanwhile, on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite traded down by 0.2 percent while the Shenzhen composite declined by 0.137 percent.

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