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Most Asian stock markets close Friday with losses

Most Asian stock markets ended Friday with losses amid lingering concerns about a possible global banking crisis.

The Asia Dow, which includes blue-chip companies in the region, rose 0.13% to 3,351.60 at 1008GMT.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock exchange fell 0.13% to close at 27,385.25.

Japan’s annual inflation rate slowed to a five-month low of 3.3% in February, the Statistics Bureau of Japan announced on Friday.

February’s reading was down from January’s 41-year high of 4.3% thanks to ease in transport costs hike.

The au Jibun Bank Japan manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 48.6 in March from 47.7 in February, according to a preliminary estimate released on Friday.

It was the fifth consecutive month of contraction in factory activity, as both output and new orders were scaled back further in March.

The Hang Seng, the benchmark for blue-chip stocks trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, decreased 0.67% to 19,915.68 points.

China’s Shanghai stock exchange lost 0.64% from the previous close to 3,265.65 points.

The Singapore benchmark index dropped 0.20% to 3,212.64 points, while the Indian Sensex benchmark went down 0.69% to 57,527.10.

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