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Another mixed picture for equity markets to end the week. Markets in mainland China lost ground after robust inflation figures prompted speculation the PBOC could be forced into tightening monetary policy sooner than expected. Japanese indices were in positive territory but off highs as the government is set to impose virus restrictions in Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa. Markets in South Korea struggled as officials said the country may be on the brink of a fourth wave of coronavirus and extended social distancing measures for three weeks, with the potential for extra measures.US futures are higher, building on another record close yesterday after reassurances from a number of Fed speakers including FOMC Chairman Powell.

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