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Asia Mostly Higher Ahead of U.S. Inflation Figures

Markets in the Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Wednesday as investors await key U.S. inflation data that will determine the Federal Reserve’s path forward in its tightening cycle.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 tacked on another 159.33 points, or 0.6%, to 28,082.70, as traders further digested Japan’s producer price index and machinery orders report. Marine transportation, wholesale, and mining led gains while banks and transportation equipment saw moderate gains.

Trading houses in Japan continued to see gains in Wednesday’s afternoon session after Warren Buffett said that he’s raised Berkshire Hathaway’s stakes in all five trading houses to 7.4%.

Shares of Mitsubishi Corp. rose 2% in Japan’s afternoon trade, Mitsui & Co. gained 2.5%, Itochu Corp climbed 1.95% and Marubeni Corp. advanced 2.7%.

Sumitomo Corp. also rose 2.8%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index shed 175.38 points, or 0.9%, to 20,309.86.

Home prices in New Zealand saw the largest quarterly fall in more than 15 years, according to FactSet.

New Zealand property prices declined by an average of 3.9% since the start of the year and rose from the 2.7% pace seen a month ago, based on the latest QV house price index.

The International Monetary Fund warned that the global economy could be heading for the weakest growth since 1990, downgrading its outlooks for the coming years.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 faded 2.86 points, or 0.1%, to 4,097.29.

In Singapore, the Straits Times dipped 11.71 points, or 0.4%, to 3,286.12.

In Korea, the Kospi gained 2.78 points, or 0.1%, to 2,550.64.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index picked up 19.09 points, or 0.1%, to 15,932.97.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 jumped 43.92 points, or 0.4%, to 11,917.50.

In Australia, the ASX 200 popped 33.98 points, or 0.5%, to 7,343.88.