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Japan Hits New Record as Rally Accelerates

Japan’s Nikkei 225 briefly crossed 41,000 to hit a fresh all-time high on Friday as the country’s inflation accelerated in February, while other Asia-Pacific markets declined.

In Japan, the index gained another 72.77 points, or 0.2%, to 40,888.43.

Japan’s headline inflation rate for February came in at 2.8%, climbing from the 2.2% seen in February. Core inflation — which strips out prices of fresh food — was at 2.8% compared with 2% in the previous month.

The BOJ, in its monetary policy statement on Tuesday said that “the price stability target of 2 percent would be achieved in a sustainable and stable manner.”

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index stumbled 363.63 points, or 2.2%, to 16,499.47, dragged by electric vehicle stocks.

Taiwan stocks enjoyed moderate gains after the central bank raised its policy rate in a surprise move on Thursday.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 36.09 points, or 1%, to 3,545.

In Korea, the Kospi index dished off 6.3 points, or 0.2%, to 2,748.56.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index advanced 29.34 points, or 0.2%, to 20,228.43.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index dropped 2.4 points, or 0.1%, to 3,217.92.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 62.91 points, or 0.5%, to 11,978.62.

In Australia, the ASX 200 removed 11.41 points, or 0.2%, to 7,770.55.