Asian stock markets close Friday mostly with gains

Major Asian stock markets ended Friday with gains, fueled by signs of China's economic recovery.

The Asia Dow, which includes blue-chip companies in the region, rose 1.40% to 3,358.54.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 stock exchange increased 1.56% to close at 27,927.47.

The au Jibun Bank Japan Composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was revised higher to 51.1 in February, signaling the quickest pace of growth in private sector output since October.

Core consumer inflation in Japan’s capital Tokyo eased in February after surging to an over four-decade high in recent months, according to official data released on Friday.

In line with the market forecast, consumer prices, excluding fresh food, in Tokyo rose 3.3% year-on-year in February, slowing from a 42-year high of 4.3% in January.

Japan’s jobless rate fell to 2.4% in January, the lowest reading since February 2020.

The Hang Seng, the benchmark for blue-chip stocks trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, climbed 0.68% to 20,567.54 points.

The S&P Global Hong Kong PMI rose to 53.9 in February from 51.2 in January.

China's Shanghai stock exchange gained 0.54% from the previous close to 3,328.39 points.

The Caixin China General Composite PMI surged to 54.2 in February from 51.1 in January.

The Singapore benchmark index fell 0.09% to 3,232.02 points while the Indian Sensex benchmark went up by 1.53% to 59,808.97.