HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed, with Japanese investors cashing in after the Nikkei ended at a near six-year high, sending the index lower despite upbeat data showing a strong rise in inflation.
The yen edged down against the dollar, and against the euro sat at lows not seen since the beginning of the financial crisis after official figures showed Japanese inflation at a more than 15-year high.
However, there were few catalysts to drive trade, with Wall Street closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Tokyo fell 0.41 percent, or 65.25 points, to 15,661.87 after closing Thursday at its highest level since mid-December 2007 thanks to a weakening yen and record closes in New York.
Seoul was flat, dipping 0.90 points to 2,044.87, while Sydney gave up 0.27 percent, or 14.3 points to close at 5,320.0.
Shanghai finished flat, edging up 1.13 points to 2,220.50 while Hong Kong was up 0.39 percent, adding 92.20 points to 23,881.29.
While investors in Japan took their cash off the table after the week’s rally, the yen provided support as the upbeat global sentiment provided incentives to move higher yielding, riskier currencies such as the euro.
The Nikkei’s losses came despite inflation data showing prices in Japan rose 0.3 percent month on month in October — their fastest pace since August 1998 and boosting hopes that a drive by the government and Bank of Japan to end deflation is working.
In afternoon trade the single currency bought 139.20 yen — after touching at one point hitting 139.70 yen, its highest since October 2008 — compared with 139.05 yen. It also sat at $1.3610 against $1.3601.
The euro continued to get support from news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had finally managed to form a coalition government for Europe’s biggest economy, two months after elections.
The dollar bought 102.25 yen compared with 102.24 yen Thursday in European trade. The dollar is edging up to levels around 103.70 yen seen in May, which was a four-and-a-half-year high.
In oil trade New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for January delivery, was up 16 cents at $92.46 while Brent North Sea crude for January eased 22 cents to $110.64 .
Gold fetched $1,241.70 per ounce at 0700 GMT compared with $1,241.77 on Thursday.
In other markets:
— Taipei rose 0.53 percent, or 44.40 points, to 8,406.83.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was unchanged at Tw$104.5 while leading chip design house MediaTek was up 0.23 percent at Tw$436.0.
— Manila rose 0.63 percent, or 38.86 points, to 6,208.82.
— Wellington fell 0.30 percent, or 14.51 points, to 4,794.95.
Air New Zealand was off 1.50 percent at NZ$1.645 and Fletcher Building eased 0.22 percent to NZ$9.13.