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Market Update

Tokyo Up, Shanghai Down in Mixed Asia

Asian markets finished a choppy Tuesday session on either side of the flat-line with Japanese stocks recovering from a six-week low hit yesterday.

Tokyo's Nikkei bounced back 2.1% today after plunging 3.7% on Monday on heels of downbeat Chinese factory data and amid lingering concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

On the other side, the Shanghai Composite dropped 1.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished flat after pushing in and out of the positive territory.

Australia’s S&P/ASX All Ordinaries managed to eke out a modest 0.3% after the central bank kept its policy interest rate unchanged, as was widely expected.

Mumbai’s Sensex, meanwhile, lost all the early gains in the final hour of trade and pushed 0.3% lower.

In economic reports, data released today showed Australia's first-quarter current account deficit reduced to a better-than-expected A$ 8.5 billion.

Stocks on the move
In Tokyo, export-focused firms and financials were mostly higher after posting sharp losses yesterday as bargain-hunters returned to the market to pick cheap stocks.

Sharp Corp. soared over 6.5%, Advantest Corp. rose around 4%. Financials made robust gains – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial notched up 7.5% while Daiwa Securities bounced nearly 12%.

Retailers J. Front Retailing  Co. Ltd. and Fast Retailing Co. gained 5% and 1.1% respectively. 

Realty players Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd. advanced 6.4% while Sumitomo Realty & Development Co. Ltd. rose over 6% too.

Property developers in Hong Kong, however, slipped after posting gains in the previous session. China Resources Land Ltd. lost 0.6% while China Overseas Land & Investment pulled back around a percent.

Shanghai-listed Gemdale Corp. fell 2.5% while China Vanke erased 1.7% in Shenzhen.

Resources stocks also moved southwards. Angang Steel dropped 1.7% while Aluminum Corp. of China fell 2%.

In financials, largest lender ICBC eased 0.3% but China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China finished at the flat-line.

In Sydney, Billabong International nose-dived more than 49% after the company ended talks of takeover with two private equity bidders Sycamore, Altamont Groups.

But most banks and miners traded in the positive territory. Fortescue Metals Group vaulted more than 6%, Rio Tinto gained 2.5% while BHP Billiton was up a modest 0.5%.

National Australia Bank added 1% while ANZ improved 2.5%. But Westpac Banking Corp. eased 0.2%.

In Mumbai, stocks opened higher but lost momentum in the final hour of the session. 

Drug-makers were among the gainers -- Dr. Reddys Lab added around 2%, Cipla climbed 1.8% while IT services exporter Wipro ended up 1.6% and auto-maker Mahindra & Mahindra drove up 1.1%.

On the flip-side, financial stocks dragged the benchmark index lower. State-run SBI lost over 2%, HDFC Bank erased 0.8% and ICICI Bank slipped 0.4%.

Shares of Infosys fell 0.8% as investors booked profits after yesterday's gains. 

Jewelers were in the spotlight today after the central bank imposed tighter norms for gold imports by nominated agencies. Titan Industries Ltd. lost 2.8%, Shree Ganesh Jewels closed down 1.9% while PC Jeweller Ltd. eased 0.2%.