A currency trader passes by screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won, right, at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday after Wall Street hit a record and Japanese inflation eased. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday after Wall Street hit a record and Japanese inflation eased.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney advanced. Hong Kong declined.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index advanced 0.3%, putting it on track for a weekly gain.

Investors are shifting focus from corporate earnings to the longer-term outlook for global economies and whether central banks might feel pressure to cool rising prices by rolling back stimulus faster than planned.

Inflation is “currently the main focal area for the markets,” Fawad Razaqzada of ThinkMarkets said in a report.

On Friday, Japan’s government reported October consumer inflation eased to 0.1% over a year earlier from the previous month’s 0.2%.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1% to 3,558.87 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 0.5% to 29,745.87. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 1.3% to 24,982.55.

The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.8% to 2,970.96 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.2% to 7,396.50.

Indian markets were closed for a holiday. New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok declined while Jakarta gained.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose to 4,704.54 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2% to 35,870.95. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.5% to 15,993.71.

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