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Market Update

Asian Markets End Mostly Lower

Asian markets ended mostly lower Wednesday although Japanese shares moved off early losses on a weakened yen.

Still, the Nikkei ended 0.4% lower. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.9% while the Hang Seng changed directions a couple of times and gained half a percent at market close. The Sensex remained unchanged while the All Ordinaries declined 0.5%.

Overnight, Wall Street stocks ended mostly flat in quiet trading ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. Thursday.

Stocks on the Move

Panasonic gained 3.5% on a Nikkei report that said the company plans to sell three semiconductor plants in in Japan to Israeli chip maker TowerJazz.

Shares in Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. were up initially also after a report in the same newspaper that said the company, along with ArcelorMittal, is to jointly acquire an automotive steel-sheet plant in the U.S. from ThyssenKrupp. However, it pared those gains and ended 0.9% lower.

Index heavyweight Sony rose 1.1%.

In Hong Kong, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group pared almost all of its gains and ended just 0.2% higher. The company reported results after market close yesterday.

Airtel fell 1.8% in Mumbai, followed by NTPC and SBI, down 1.4% and 1.2% each, respectively.

Construction materials manufacturer James Hardie strengthened 2.8% in Sydney after upbeat housing data from the U.S. where the company has a strong presence.