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Market Update

Asian Markets Trade Mostly Lower

Asian stocks were trading mostly lower Tuesday amid continued worries of economic slowdown in China. But Japanese equities bucked the trend as a positive finish for U.S. stocks overnight boosted sentiment.

The Nikkei was up 0.6% at 1:27 p.m. Tokyo time as investors returned to the market after a three-day long weekend.

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.7%, the Hang Seng edged down 0.1% and the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries traded flat.

Mumbai's BSE Sensex dropped 1.3% even as the Indian currency gained ground against the dollar after the Reserve Bank of India waded in with monetary tightening policies yesterday to bailout the sinking rupee.

In other news, minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's latest policy meet showed that policy-makers felt there was room for more monetary easing but they would prefer a "wait-and-watch" policy to asses the impact of earlier easing measures.

Stocks on the Move

Growth woes continued to hit sentiment across Chinese markets. Data released yesterday showed growth in the world's second largest economy slowed further to 7% in the second quarter, although the figure was in line with analysts' expectations.

Resources stocks continued to reel under pressure in Hong Kong. Angang Steel dropped 1.7% while Jiangxi Copper retreated over 2%. Zijin Mining Group lost around 2% too.

Property developers added to the losses. Poly Property Group Co. slumped more than 3%, China Resources Land Ltd. fell 2.8% while Sino Land Company slipped 0.4%.

On the mainland, Gemdale Corp. tumbled 3.2% in Shanghai while the broader Shenzhen-listed China Vanke lost 2.2%.

Banks also traded with slim losses but exporters were on the other side of the rung as upbeat earnings in the U.S. boosted sentiment. Esprit Holdings Ltd. bounced 4.3% while Li & Fung Ltd. added 1.3%. Belle International Holdings rose 1.8%.

Exporters in Tokyo also notched higher, further supported by a softer yen. Among top gainers, Nintendo Co. vaulted 4.3%, Konami Corp. soared 5.9% and Canon Inc. gained 2.5%.

Power utility Tokyo Electric Power surged 12.2% while Kansai Electric Power advanced 2.7%.

Financials and resources stocks were also on the gainers' side.

In Australia, banks were slightly higher. NAB edged up 0.1% while Westpac Banking Group tacked on a percent and ANZ added 0.6%.

Miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto climbed 0.6% and 0.2% respectively but Fortescue Metals Group lost 0.1%. Gold miner Newcrest Mining extended losses, down 2.4%.

In Mumbai, financial stocks led the losses after the central bank introduced a host of measures late yesterday, including raising lending rates for banks and mopping out liquidity from the market, to stem the rupee's continued weakness.

ICICI Bank plunged 5.5%, HDFC sank 4.6% while SBI tumbled 4.6% and HDFC Bank erased 2.9%.

Other rate-sensitive stocks were also in the red. Car maker Maruti Suzuki reversed nearly 3% while Tata Motors gave up 1.5%. Realty giant L&T was down 3.3%.

IT stocks logged losses as the rupee strengthened against the U.S. dollar, bleaking earnings outlook of IT-services exporting firms. Wipro slipped around 2% while Infosys lost 0.2%.