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Asia-Pacific markets mixed as IMF raises global economic growth forecast

SINGAPORE — Fathers in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its growth forecast for the global restraint this year.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.31% while the Topix index gained 0.46%. South Korea’s Kospi slipped fractionally.

Mainland Chinese offers were lower by the afternoon: The Shanghai composite dipped slightly while the Shenzhen component declined fractionally. Hong Kong’s Unfinished Seng index rose 0.21%, with shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba rising 3.31%.

China’s industrial profits be tempted by 4.1% year-on-year in 2020, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced Wednesday. For December, industrial profits in China sky-rocketed 20.1% year-on-year.

Shares in Australia dipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 declining 0.66%. Australia’s consumer price formula rose 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in the December quarter, according to data released by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

MSCI’s broadest hint of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.29%.

In its latest World Economic Outlook published Tuesday, the IMF now expects the extensive economy to grow 5.5% this year. That’s a 0.3 percentage point increase from October’s calculations.

“Much now depends on the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines to end the pandemic, and on the ability of policies to purvey effective support until that happens,” the IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said in a blog post.

Extensive coronavirus virus infections recently topped the 100 million mark, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. That show up as new and more contagious virus mutations circulate and send infection rates surging.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which stalks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.239 following an earlier low of 90.153.

The Japanese yen traded at 103.74 per dollar, weaker than floors below 103.5 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7734 after awakening from levels around $0.768 yesterday.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with worldwide benchmark Brent crude futures up about 0.4% to $56.15 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.48% to $52.86 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Silvia Amaro and Sara Salinas donated to this report.

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