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Australia CPI, China industrial profit

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The Sydney Opera House Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

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Most Asia-Pacific markets rose Wednesday, breaking ranks from Wall Street as the market rally in the U.S. continued to cool.

Investors in Asia will assess February inflation numbers from Australia — the first inflation reading after the country’s central bank said that “it was not yet possible to rule in or out further increases in interest rates.”

“Inflation had moderated but was still high,” the bank said.

China will also release its industrial profit data on Wednesday.

The S&P/ASX 200 started the day 0.11% higher, extending gains from Tuesday.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rebounded to climb 0.24%, while the broad-based Topix was up 0.4%.

South Korea’s Kospi retreated 0.1% after leading gains in Asia and reaching a two-year high on Tuesday, while the small-cap Kosdaq was close to the flatline.

Futures for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stood at 16,569, pointing to a weaker open compared with the HSI’s close of 16,618.32.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes continued to slide, with the S&P 500 marking a third straight day of losses and falling 0.28%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped marginally, while the tech heavy Nasdaq Composite saw a larger loss of 0.42%.

Still, the major averages are on pace for their fifth straight winning month despite the recent pullbacks, with the S&P up more than 2% in March.

— CNBC’s Lisa Kailai Han and Hakyung Kim contributed to this report



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