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Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as S&P 500 sails to record close on Wall Street

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Friday afternoon trade, following gains overnight on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 sailing to a record closing high.

Stocks in Japan were little changed as the Nikkei 225 hovered above the flatline while the Topix sat about 0.1% lower. Over in South Korea, the Kospi edged 0.6% higher.

Mainland Chinese stocks declined as the Shanghai composite fell 0.25% while the Shenzhen component slipped 0.515%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.39%.

Shares in Australia were higher as the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.31%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.35%.

S&P 500 rises to record close

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose nearly 0.5% to a record closing high of 4,239.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 19.1 points to 34,466.24 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.78% to 14,020.33.

The gains came on the back of the release of a closely-watched U.S. inflation report. U.S. consumer prices jumped 5% in May — the fastest pace since August 2008 — the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. That was higher than a gain of 4.7% forecasted by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.991 after swinging around the 90 level for much of this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.39 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.6 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7752, as compared with levels around $0.776 seen earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.48% to $72.17 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.48% to $72.17 per barrel.

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