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

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

The Nikkei 225 in Japan edged 0.16% in early trade while the Topix sat below the flatline. Over in South Korea, the Kospi edged 0.57% higher.

Shares in Australia were muted as the S&P/ASX 200 traded below the flatline.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.14% higher.

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 90.073 after swinging around the 90 level for much of this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.37 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 morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.12% to $72.43 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.13% to $70.20 per barrel.

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