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Market Update

Asian Markets End Mostly Higher

Asian markets finished a choppy session mostly higher Tuesday ahead of a key policy decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this week.

Leading the gains, the Nikkei was up 1.5% at close, recovering from sharp losses posted in the previous session. The Shanghai Composite added 0.7% and the Hang Seng was up 0.5%.

On the other side, Mumbai's Sensex ended 1.2% lower after the Reserve Bank of India left its key policy rates unchanged. Australia's S&P/ASX All Ordinaries finished flat.

Sentiment turned cautious after U.S. stocks finished Monday's session lower overnight after data showed U.S. pending home sales dropped and as investors eyed Fed's policy decision.

The U.S. central bank is scheduled to begin a two-day policy meeting today and will be annoucing its outcome on Wednesday. Markets are expecting further cues on the future course of the Fed's monetary stimulus program.

Stocks on the Move

In Tokyo, exporters led the charge on the back of a weaker yen. Among the top gainers, car makers Mazda Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp., zoomed ahead around 3% each while Sony Corp. rose 2.9%.

Shipping companies and power utilities were among other robust gainers. Tokyo Electric Power vaulted nearly 12% while Chubu Electric Power bounced 5.4%.

Marine transporter Kawasaki Kishen Kaisha jumped 6.3% while Nippon Yusen K.K. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines rallied 3.3% and 4% respectively.

On the earnings front, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Corp. climbed 1% after posting higher quarterly profit.

Komatsu Ltd. added 1.3% despite disappointing results but Hitachi Construction Machinery dropped 3% after its results missed estimates. 

In Hong Kong, metal players were mostly lower. Angang Steel lost 0.5% and Jiangxi Copper fell 3.5% and Aluminum Corp. of China lost 2.8%.

On the earnings side, Yanzhou Coal Mining plunged more than 9% after it said it expects a loss of 2.35 billion yuan for the first half of 2013.

Wynn Macau Ltd. rallied 3.4% after posting 3% hike in its second-quarter profit.

Among others, property developers and banking firms finished modestly higher in Hong Kong.

In Sydney, a speech by governor Glenn Stevens of the Reserve Bank of Australia was the main focus of investor interest. The governor said that the current inflation environment was no impediment to slashing interest rates further if the need be.

Banks and mining stocks ended in the green, following RBA's comments. Westpac Banking and NAB edged up 0.1% each while ANZ gained 0.4%.

Among miners, BHP Billiton rose 1.2%, Rio Tinto also tacked on a around a percent while Fortescue Metals Group climbed 1.6%.

In Mumbai, stocks turned lower after the central bank's monetary policy announcement. Top losers included ONGC (-5.6%), Hindalco Industries (-4.6%) and Tata Motors (-3.9%). Other decliners included FMCG companies, metal players and auto firms.

Jet Airways gave up early gains but plunged 7.7% as initial optimism over its conditional approval to sell 24% stake to Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways faded.

But some IT stocks held up with modest gains. Wipro added 2.8%, Infosys rose 1.2% and TCS climbed 0.6%.