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Market Update

Asian Stocks Quiver; Hang Seng Shut

Asian stocks turned choppy Wednesday, swinging between modest gains and losses despite a positive finish for U.S. stocks overnight.

Mainland China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%, Tokyo's Nikkei dropped 0.6% while Mumbai's Sensex was flat at 10:00 a.m. local time. Australia's S&P/ASX All Ordinaries slipped 0.2%.

Stock market and derivatives trading in Hong Kong was cancelled due to bad weather and storms.

In currencies, the yen grew stronger against the dollar amid ongoing speculations the government would lower corporate taxes in the near future. 

Stocks on the Move

Exporters in Tokyo slipped amid the yen's strength. Canon Inc. and Panasonic Corp. lost over 2% and Komatsu Ltd. erased 2.4%. Tokyo Electron Ltd. also lost 2.4%.

Among financials, brokerage houses Daiwa Securities and Nomura Holdings were trading up around 1% each but Mitsubishi Financial UFJ retreated 0.9%.

In Sydney, banks were modestly higher after Commonwealth Bank reported strong earnings. Shares of Commonwealth, however, dropped 1.2% despite the upbeat results. Among others, ANZ rallied 2.7% while NAB and Westpac added around half a percent each.

Among miners, Rio Tinto lost 1.4% while BHP Billiton eased 0.4%. Gold miner Newcrest Mining dropped 1.7%.

Among other major losers in Sydney, Billabong International slumped over 6% after its recent surge prompted an inquiry from the securities exchange.

Goodman Fielder dropped nearly 5% despite swinging to net profit for the 2013 financial year.

In Mumbai, Tata Steel surged 6.5% after posting better-than-expected results. Among other gainers, Tata Motors accelerated 6.2%, Hindalco Industries gained 3.6%, Sterlite Industries added 3.2%.

On the mainland, car manufacturers raced ahead with solid gains. SAIC Motor Corp. soared 3.8% after reports said that its subsidiary Huayu Automotive Systems Co. had agreed to buy Visteon Corp.'s (VC) 50% stake in their joint venture for $1.25 billion in cash.

Among other auto-firms, Faw Car Co. Ltd. accelerated 6.4% while Guanzhou Automobile added 1.7%.