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Nikkei Surpasses All-Time High

Japan’s Nikkei hit a record high on Thursday with investors shrugging off dismal business activity data from the country, while other Asia-Pacific markets traded in the green.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 recovered with a bang, gaining 836.52 points, or 2.2%, to 39,098.68, surpassing the previous record high of 38,915.87 reached in 1989.

Investors shrugged off Japan’s Jibun Bank flash purchasing managers’ index reading for February that showed business activity contracted yet again.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rocketed 239.85 points, or 1.6%, to 16,742.95.

Korean markets rose, as Goldman Sachs said the country’s central bank could be the first to cut rates on the day it chose to hold them steady.

Australian markets were flat. The nation’s Judo Bank composite purchasing managers’ index for February showed a return to growth, at 51.8.
The monthly index is a leading indicator for business activity in Australia’s manufacturing and service sector.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 29.8 points, or 0.9%, to 3,487.67,

Singapore’s Straits Times Index recouped 5.83 points, or 0.2%, to 3,222.94.

In Korea, the Kospi took on 10.96 points, or 0.4%, to 2,664.27.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index turned upward 176.17 points, or 0.9%, to 18,852.78.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 hiked 99.78 points, or 0.9%, to 11,690.52.

In Australia, the ASX 200 nicked ahead 2.84 points to 7,611.20.