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Market Update

Asian Markets Up; Track Wall Street Gains

Asian markets were up Tuesday tracking gains on Wall Street overnight after upbeat economic data in both the U.S. and Europe yesterday.

The Nikkei was up 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite declined 0.5% while the Hang Seng edged up 0.1%. The Sensex added 0.4% and the All Ordinaries was up 0.3%.

The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s board meeting held December 3 showed the central bank is not closing off the possibility of cutting the cash rate further, “should that be appropriate to support sustainable growth in economic activity, consistent with the inflation target,” the RBS said in the minutes.

Investors will focus on the U.S. Fed’s two-day monetary policy meeting set for Dec 17-18 with most expecting the apex bank to announce plans to start winding down its stimulus measures.

Stocks on the Move

Dai-ichi Life Insurance added 3.4% after a broker upgrade.

The softer yen helped some exporters. Panasonic was up 2.5% while Advantest rose 2.9%.

In Hong Kong, casino stocks were up after Wells Fargo reportedly increased its forecast for December gaming-revenue growth in Macau. Wynn Macau shot up 4% while MGM China Holdings was up 2.4%.

Top Sensex gainers were Airtel, up 3.3%, followed by Cipla, up 2.9%, and TCS and SSLT, up 1.8% each.

The broader market listed GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals was up 0.4% after its parent GlaxoSmithKline PLC initiated an open offer to increase its stake in the Indian subsidiary from 50.7% to up to 75%.

Earlier, data showed wholesale inflation increased 7.52% year-on-year in November led by a 19.93% increase in primary food products. The Reserve Bank is to announce its mid-quarter review of monetary policy for 2013-14 tomorrow.

The four major retail banks in Sydney all rose up to half a percent each. Fortescue Metals added 3.1% while James Hardie Industries strengthened 2.2%.

Gold digger Newcrest lost 2.3% while copper producer OZ Minerals fell 3.8%.