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Market Update

Asian Markets End Lower

Asian markets fell Thursday, tracking losses on Wall Street overnight with investors focused on the U.S. Fed’s policy meeting next week.

The Nikkei ended down 1.1%. The Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1% while the Hang Seng declined 0.5%. The Sensex gave up 1.2% while the All Ordinaries shed 0.8%.

In Australia, data showed the unemployment rate rose in November to a seasonally adjusted 5.8% from 5.7% in October.

Overnight, US stocks posted their biggest single-day drop in a month after a budget deal which added to fears the Fed could start to wind down its stimulus measures.

Stocks on the Move

Exporters were generally lower weighed by gains for the yen while electronics firms were under additional pressure after the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Japan looked set to post its first trade deficit for electronics goods this year.

Index heavyweight Sony declined 0.3% while Panasonic and Olympus were down 1.4% and 2.4% each, respectively. Nikon fell 2.3% while Fujifilm Holdings fell 2.9%.

Yahoo Japan Corp. fell 3.1% on a Bloomberg report the company was offering its stake in Macromill Inc. to Bain Capital.

Hong Kong’s largest initial public offering this year, China China Asset Management Co., surged over 20% on its debut. The company raised $2.5 billion in an IPO that priced at the top of its price range.

Coal-port operator Qinhuangdao Port CO. also debuted in Hong Kong but its shares dropped 2.9% at market close after paring losses of over 7% in intra-day trade.

Aluminum Corporation of China fell 1.1% after the company said it could see a drop of up to 37% in output from a key Peruvian copper mine. Angang Steel strengthened 1.1% on a broker upgrade.

Tata Motors fell 4.6% while ONGC slipped 2.7%. Coal India and ICICI Bank gave up 2.5% and 2.4% each, respectively while Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki were down 2.2% and 2% each, respectively.

Retail inflation and industrial production data are due slightly later post market hours.

Aussie shares were pressured by the data that showed a rising unemployment rate in November. QBE Insurance lost a further 5.5% after a brief respite yesterday following its profit warning. The stock has lost 32.8% so far since Monday.