Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as investors digested news that China’s inflation rate remained elevated in January as food prices continued to rise.
Tokyo shares ended higher with the key Nikkei index up 0.20 percent. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average advanced 21.13 points to 10, 746.67 to log a 10-month closing high.
The Bank of Japan raised its overall economic assessment for the first time in nine months as faster overseas growth bolsters exports and production. “Japan's economy is gradually emerging from the current deceleration phase,” the bank said after its two-day monetary policy meeting.
China's shares ended flat and Hong Kong shares declined despite lower-than-expected inflation data from China. Bench mark Shanghai composite gained 0.02 percent or 0.49 points to 2,899.62, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.96 percent or 221.28 points to 22,899.78.
The consumer price index (CPI) in the world’s second largest economy increased to 4.9 percent in January year-on-year, while analysts had expected the China’s CPI to exceed 5 percent in January as a result of rise in consumption during Lunar New Year holiday and the severe drought in northern region of the country.
South Korean shares ended lower after volatile trade as gains from LG Electronics offset by declines from banks including KB Financial Group and automakers including Hyundai Motor. Benchmark Seoul composite declined 4.07 points or 0.2 percent to 2,010.52. KB Financial declined 1.87 percent and Hyundai Motor fell 1.37 percent, while LG Electronics gained 2 percent.