Stocks limp toward U.S. debt denouement; Japan sparkles
Stocks were subdued on Friday, apart from standout gains in Japan, as an artificial intelligence rally took a breather and as time ticked out on high-stakes talks to avoid a U.S. debt default.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan drifted 0.3% higher in trade thinned by a holiday in Hong Kong. The index is down 1.6% on the week.
Japan’s Nikkei, by contrast, rose 0.7% and is riding momentum from foreign inflows and basking in the afterglow of revenue and production upgrades for U.S. chipmaker Nvidia that have set Japanese firms with exposure soaring.
The Nikkei is up 0.7% on the week, too, for a seventh weekly gain in row – its longest weekly winning streak in five years and one which has added some $460 billion to Japanese stocks.
May data on Friday showed inflation slowing to 3.3% in Tokyo, a decent proxy for the nation, which means it’s been comfortably above the Bank of Japan’s 2% target for a year now. The world’s third largest economy has struggled for decades to get meaningful and sustained rises in prices, profits and wages.
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