Asia Markets: Nikkei spikes above 21,000 for first time since 1996

Stocks showed little movement Friday as markets opened in the Asia Pacific region, but more new highs could be in store with Japan topping 21,000 for the first time since 1996.

The Nikkei NIK, +0.23%   rose 0.3% early, touching 21,032, even as the yen strengthened slightly. Japan’s benchmark index hit a two-decade closing high during the week.

More broadly, investors were liable to be rangebound as Chinese trade figures and U.S. consumer-price data emerged, OCBC Bank said.

The trade data sparked little reaction on Asian markets. Exports climbed 9% from a year ago in yuan terms in September, while imports jumped 20%.

Chinese stock indexes remained essentially unchanged after the release of trade data, while other locales didn’t budge from prerelease levels, either.

That came amid a lack of fresh reasons for investors to heavily buy equities further, after broad gains seen around the world the past month sent indexes to record and multidecade highs.

New Zealand’s stock benchmark NZ50GR, +0.20%   gained 0.3% Friday, putting it on pace for a record-extending ninth-straight rise — all of them new highs.

South Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.13%   has notched all-time closing levels in the past two sessions and rose 0.1% even as index heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co. 005930, -0.47%   fell 0.6%. That trimmed the stock’s jump this week to 6.3% and came even as the company projected third-quarter results that were slightly above consensus forecasts.

Elsewhere, oil prices reversed much of the overnight pullback seen, with futures in Asia rising some 0.5%.

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