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Market Update

Asian Markets Higher After U.S., China Data

Asian markets were higher Monday following upbeat economic data from the U.S. last week Friday and from China over the weekend.

The Nikkei rallied 2.3% on a weaker yen. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% while the Hang Seng was up 0.3%. The Sensex gained 1.5% while the All Ordinaries declined 0.7%.

Over the weekend, China reported its largest trade surplus in nearly five years with exports up 12.7% from the year-ago period while imports rose 5.3%. Earlier Monday, China’s November consumer-price index rose by 3% year on year, in line with estimates.

Indian markets rose after the ruling Congress party was decimated in the electoral results in four states ahead of the federal elections next year, raising hopes for a change in the corruption-affected government which has held back on key economic reforms.

However, Sydney markets declined after a profit warning from QBE Insurance.

Stocks on the Move

Exporters were the major gainers in Tokyo with Kyocera Corp. up 2.5% and Hitachi 3% higher. KDDI Corp. rose 4.1% while in auto, Mazda Motor accelerated 3%.

Fanuc Corp. lifted 2.5% after Credit Suisse raised its target price for the shares.

Haier Electronics rallied 13.1% in Hong Kong after the company received 1.86 billion Hong Kong dollars from Alibaba Group for ramping up its logistics business.

HSBC Holdings slipped marginally after a report in The Financial Times that said the bank has asked investors if they would support a float of its U.K. unit. The report says the lender’s plan would be to list a minority stake of up to 30% in the retail and commercial banking arm.

ICICI Bank was the top Sensex gainer, up 4.9%, followed by SSLT, up 4.5%, and L&T, up 4.3%.

In Sydney, QBE Insurance Group plunged over 22% after the company said its chairwoman would step down following a warning of a hike in claims provisioning and a hefty write-down against its North American business that would see it post a loss this year.