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Market Update

Asian Markets End Mostly Lower

Asian markets ended mostly lower Tuesday tracking overnight losses on Wall Street.

The Nikkei gained 0.6%. The Shanghai Composite added 0.7% but the Hang Seng was down 0.5%. The Sensex slipped 0.2% while the All Ordinaries gave up 0.5%.

Earlier Tuesday, Australia’s central bank held its key interest rate at 2.5%, meeting expectations.

In economic data, retail sales in Australia rose more-than-expected last month. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said sales rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, from 0.9% in the preceding month. In a separate report, the Bureau said the country’s current account balance fell to a seasonally adjusted -12.7B, from -12.1B in the preceding quarter.

Stocks on the Move

Japanese stocks gained on the back of a weaker yen. Mazda Motor accelerated 1.7%, adding to the prior session’s 2.3% rise.

Fujifilm shot up 3%. Pioneer Corp. gained 3.2%.

The Hang Seng gave back most of its gains from Monday as real estate stocks retreated after Financial Secretary John Tsang Shun-wah said that risks of a property bubble means the government will continue on a line of measures to cool the sector.  China Resources Land gave up 1.2% while China Overseas Land & Investment was down 1.1%. Wharf Holdings fell 1.6%.

Casino stocks gained following government data that showed gambling revenue in Macau climbed 21.3% in November.

Losers slightly outnumbered gainers in Mumbai with SSLT down 1.4%, followed by Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 1.2%, and L&T and NTPC, both down 1.1% each, respectively.

Banks were all lower after the rate decision in Sydney. CBA, WBC, ANZ, and NAB were all down in a range between 0.4% and 0.9%.

Index leader BHP Billiton sank 1.2%.