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Market Update

Asian Markets Mostly Higher

Most Asian markets took cues from their Wall Street equities and notched higher Wednesday, with Chinese data adding to the confidence.

Among the gainers, Tokyo's Nikkei rose 0.7%, the Hang Seng edged up 0.2% while the Sensex too opened 0.2% higher.

But Australia's S&P/ASX All Ordinaries slipped 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite lost 0.3%, giving up early gains.

In economic reports, official data showed Chinese exports increased 10% previous month, just short of expectations of 10.5% rise. Imports, meanwhile, soared 14% -- much above the analysts' estimate of a 5.2% rise. The country's trade deficit stood at $884 million during March as compared with a surplus of $15.3 billion in February.

Weak trade data spurred hopes of Beijing initiating more stimulus measures to sustain economic growth in the world's second largest economy.

Stocks on the move

Exporters scored robust gains in Tokyo. Nintendo Co. jumped 7%, Tokyo Electron moved up 6.3% while Panasonic Corp. added 3.5%.

Financials and resources stocks added to the gains. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 4.3% while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group bounced over 6%.

Steel player Kobe Steel scored around 7% while JFE Holdings enhanced over 4%.

Metal-linked firms were also modestly higher in Hong Kong. Aluminum Corp. of China climbed 4.1%, Jiangxi Copper improved 2.3% while gold miner Zijin Mining Group was 3.2% brighter.

Sydney-listed miners were also in demand. China is Australia's biggest importer of metals and the import data augured well for mining stocks.

Mining giant BHP Billiton added 2.1% while fellow miner Rio Tinto improved around 3%. Diversified iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals Group soared around 5%.

On the flipside, surfwear retailer Billabong International tumbled over 26% amid news the company has entered into a ten day period of exclusivity with the Sycamore Consortium in relation to a takeover deal.

Stocks in Mumbai also opened higher, tracking positive cues from their global counterparts. Among the top scorers, IT stocks traded higher after posting losses in the previous session.

Wipro recovered, adding 1.7% while Infosys followed closely up 1%. TCS extended gains, up 1.5%.

Among others, HDFC rose 1.8% and so did telecom giant Bharti Airtel, NTPC climbed 1.1% while Tata Power was up 0.5% at the time of writing.