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Roundup: Japan's Nikkei ends higher on eased U.S. inflation concerns

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TOKYO, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index ended at a two-month high on Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street overnight, as concerns eased over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes to combat inflation.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average jumped 817.47 points, or 2.98 percent, from Thursday to close the day at 28,263.57.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, gained 41.10 points, or 2.12 percent, to finish at 1,977.76.

The market mood here was lifted by U.S. shares rising overnight following U.S. inflation data coming in below median market expectations, local brokers said.

They added that the softer data raised expectations the Fed would begin to ease its rate hikes looking ahead.

“The data revitalized expectations of slower rate hikes, with a view now emerging that the Fed will conduct a 0.50 percentage point interest rate hike in December and a 0.25 point raise in February,” Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., was quoted as saying.

“The U.S. central bank may even stop raising rates from around May,” said Fujito.

Other market analysts said that slowing inflation in the U.S. had boosted the appeal of Japanese issues.

“The fact that the growth rate of U.S. inflation was lower than expectations had boosted Wall Street, and that raised sentiment for Japanese market,” Takatoshi Itoshima, strategist at Pictet Asset Management Japan, was quoted as saying.

By the close of play, electric appliance, service and rubber product issues comprised those that gained the most.

Despite lowering its annual profit outlook, chip-manufacturing equipment maker Tokyo Electron soared 8.4 percent, while Advantest surged 9.1 percent. Screen Holdings, meanwhile, ended 7.8 percent higher.

Uniqlo casual clothing chain operator Fast Retailing climbed 2 percent, and fellow Nikkei heavyweight Daikin Industries closed 7.2 percent higher.

Issues that rose outpaced those that fell by 1,260 to 517, while 59 ended the day unchanged.

On the Prime Market on Friday, 1,743.68 million shares changed hands, rising from Thursday’s volume of 1,270.37 million shares.

The turnover on the final trading day of the week came to 4,874.99 billion yen (34.62 billion U.S. dollars).

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