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Market Update

Nikkei Gains in Lacklustre Asia

Asian markets ended mostly flat Friday barring the Nikkei which was the sole big mover in the region as it ended higher.

The Nikkei gained 0.8%. The Shanghai Composite declined 0.4% while the Hang Seng edged up 0.1%. The Sensex also edged up 0.1% while the All Ordinaries slipped 0.2%.

Overnight, Wall Street stocks ended lower after better-than-expected economic data raised fears the Fed would start winding down its stimulus. Investors are focused on more data out of the U.S. with the payroll and unemployment report among the key indicators due ahead of the stock market open on Wall Street Friday.

Stocks on the Move

Advantest gained 6.2% in Tokyo after a favorable brokerage report.

Nissan gained almost 2% while Mazda Motor rose 1.3%. Honda accelerated 1.2%.

Standard Chartered PLC extended losses, down a further 2.8% after falling 4.7% Thursday. The lender said its operating profit would decline for the first time in a decade.

China Mobile edged up 0.1% after a Reuters report the company is still working on a deal to sell Apple’s iPhones.

Shares were steady in Mumbai after Thursday’s sharp gains on the back of an impending electoral victory for the opposing party in New Delhi after a three-term Congress led reign characterized by corruption, and poor and inefficient administration.

Among the top gainers in the Sensex, Tata Power charged up over 5% while Coal India ended with over 3% gains.

Shares of Qantas were in a trading halt after the stock plummeted the previous session. QBE Insurance also halted trading of its shares with the Australian Review Commission saying the company may lower its profit estimates.

Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings was down 2% on its trading debut.