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Asian Stock Markets Waffle on Inflation, Interest Rate Outlook

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Last updated: 11/24/2021 05:41:50

05:41 AM EST, 11/24/2021 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets waffled on Wednesday as traders weighed inflation, interest rates and the outlook for monetary tightening by the world's major central banks, including the US Federal Reserve. Japan declined, but Hong Kong and Shanghai notched small gains, while the other regional exchanges were mostly lower.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened lower and slumped in trading, finishing off 1.6%. Certain export issues got a lift from a softer yen, but tech issues were weak.

The benchmark Nikkei 225, after a Tuesday-holiday hiatus, fell 471.45 to 29,302.66 as losing issues outnumbered gainers, 156 to 63.

In other news, the flash au Jibun Bank Japan Composite Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 52.5 in November from 50.7 in October, IHS Markit reported. The nation's manufacturing PMI jumped to 54.2 from 53.2, while the services PMI weighed in at 52.1 in November, from 50.7 in October.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index eked out a 0.1% gain on a late rally, despite continued downdrafts in the property and tech sectors.

The broad gauge Hang Seng rose 33.92 to 24,685.50, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 30 to 27. The Hang Seng TECH Index fell 0.5% on the day, while the Mainland Properties Index declined 1.5%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1% to 3,592.70.

On the other exchanges, the S. Korean KOSPI lost 0.1%; the Taiwan TWSE declined 0.1%; the Australian ASX 200 retreated 0.2%; the Singapore Straits Times Index was flat, and the Thai Set added 0.2%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was off 0.6%.

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