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Asia-Pacific stocks set for muted open; S&P 500 sails to record close on Wall Street

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked poised for a muted Friday open, following gains overnight on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 sailing to a record closing high.

Futures pointed to a quiet open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,985 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,910. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,958.56.

Shares in Australia also looked set to open little changed, as the SPI futures contract stood at 7,307.0, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,302.50.

S&P 500 rises to record close

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose nearly 0.5% to a record closing high of 4,239.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 19.1 points to 34,466.24 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.78% to 14,020.33.

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The gains came on the back of the release of a closely-watched U.S. inflation report. U.S. consumer prices jumped 5% in May — the fastest pace since August 2008 — the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. That was higher than a gain of 4.7% forecasted by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.075 after swinging around the 90 level for much of this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.36 per dollar, stronger than levels above 109.6 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7753, as compared with levels around $0.776 seen earlier in the trading week.



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