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Market Update

Asian Markets Lower; China Plenum Disappoints

Asian markets fell Wednesday after a much-looked forward to meeting of China's government officials yielded little, disappointing investors who had hoped for much greater clarity on business and economic policies for the next decade.

The Nikkei was down 0.4%. The Shanghai Composite gave up 0.9% while the Hang Seng dropped 1.3%. The Sensex edged up 0.2% and the All Ordinaries fell 1.4%.

Wall Street also provided a negative lead overnight after conflicting comments from Fed officials on the subject of when the Federal Reserve may start to wind down stimulus measures.

In economic news, data showed Japanese core machinery orders unexpectedly fell 2.1% in October after showing strong growth in September. Aussie stocks were weighed by data that showed wages, excluding bonuses, rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in the September quarter as against expectations for a 0.7% rise.

Stocks on the Move

Moving on earnings news, Isuzu Motors was down 0.8% after it lowered its full-year sales guidance. But Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group gained 1.3% after it raised its full-year net profit forecast.

Sony extended gains for the third straight session, up 3.2%. Konami Corp. fell 4%.

Mazda Motor accelerated 2.6% and Mitsubishi Motors was up 1.9%. Toyota declined about a percent.

HSBC fell 1.2% in Honk Kong while ICBC dropped 2.8%. Other major banks were also over 2% lower, each.

Gemdale was up 1.4% on the mainland while Poly Real Estate was up 0.7%.

The Sensex was edging upward midmorning with Sun Pharma up 3.5% ahead of its second-quarter results. M&M was up 1.4%, also ahead of its results announcement later today. Other gainers included Tata Motors and Tata Steel, up 1.9% each, respectively.

In Sydney, BHP Billiton sank 1.3% while Fortescue Metals gained 2.4%. Mineral explorer Cullen Resources plunged 12.5% while gold digger Newcrest lost 3.4%.

Banks were also lower with CBA, NAB, and ANZ all down around 2.5% each.