Nikkei Asia300 Index gains tracking record-high USA stocks

Nikkei Asia300 Index gains tracking record-high USA stocks”

Major Asian indexes on Monday are expected to focus on Wall Street's firmer Friday close as investors await the release of China inflation data.

The Nikkei climbed 0.6 percent to 21,284.40 in midmorning trade, and touched 21,347.07, the highest level since late 1996. The surge in share price came after news that T-Mobile and Softbank-controlled Sprint meant to announce a merger, according to a report.

U.S. September consumer prices released Friday were softer than expected. Tech stocks were mixed, with SK Hynix sliding 0.58%, but LG Electronics climbing 1.92%.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.43 percent in early trade.

In Greater China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.08%, or 2.68 points, to 3,393.21 but the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, opened 0.05%, or 1.10 points, down at 2,035.70.

China will be in the driver's seat this week ahead of the start of a leadership transition event and key economic data including inflation and third-quarter economic growth.

The H-shares of Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance Group added 0.3% after reporting a 35.5% year-on-year increase in January-September premium income for its life-insurance business.

Stocks on Wall Street touched record highs during the trading day as earnings season carried on. Brent crude rose 1.2% to $57.88 per barrel. The increase in Treasury yields came after Bloomberg reported economist John Taylor, a candidate for the next Federal Reserve Chairman and a policy hawk, made a favorable impression on President Donald Trump at an interview at White House last week.

In country indexes compiled by Nikkei, Hong Kong advanced 0.2% and South Korea added 0.5%, while Taiwan slipped 0.4%.

Meanwhile, retail sales increase 1.6%, their biggest gain since 2015, the Commerce Department said last week.

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