Data Points to Inflation Cooling, Asia Gains

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose on Friday, following the moves of Wall Street as the U.S. producer price index signaled further signs of cooling inflation.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 popped 336.5 points, or 1.2%, to 28,493.47.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gathered 94.33 points, or 0.5%, to 20,438.81.

The U.S. March producer price index, a measure of prices paid by companies and often a leading indicator of consumer inflation, declined by 0.5% month-on-month.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore maintained its monetary policy as its core inflation remains at the highest levels in 14 years. The economy saw a quarterly contraction of 0.7% and a marginal growth of 0.1% year-on-year, advance estimates showed.

Korean markets gained ground as North Korea released a statement on its latest missile launch into the waters between Korea and Japan.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 added 23.02 points, or 0.6%, to 4,092.

In Singapore, the Straits Times inched up 8.12 points, or 0.3%, to 3,302.62.

In Korea, the Kospi moved upward 9.83 points, or 0.4%, to 2,571.49.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index recovered 124.67 points, or 0.8%, to 15,929.43.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 stumbled 50.29 points, or 0.4%, to 11,880.57.

In Australia, the ASX 200 advanced 37.46 points, or 0.5%, to 7,361.58.