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Market Update

Asian Markets End Mostly Lower

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Asian markets ended mostly lower Thursday even as a weakened yen boosted Japanese stocks after the dollar surged to its highest level this year against the yen after the Federal Reserve said it will start to slow down its stimulus measures based on the strength in the U.S. economy.

The Nikkei ended up 1.7%. The Shanghai Composite fell 1% and the Hang Seng gave up 1.1%. The Sensex was down 0.7% but the All Ordinaries rose 2%.

Overnight, the DJ Industrial Average and the S&P 500 soared to all-time closing highs as investors took the Fed’s move to wind down its asset programme as signs of an improving economy and cheered its commitment to a low interest-rate regime.

Gold prices were lower in Asia following the Fed's taper decision.

U.S. stock futures signaled a slightly lower open for Wall Street stocks Thursday.

Stocks on the Move

Tokyo Electron underperformed, up just 0.4% after warning of a yearly net loss due to the write-down of the value of its solar business.

Among the major gainers, Fuji Heavy Industries lifted 2.6% while industrial robots-maker Fanuc Corp. advanced 4.1%. Nintendo jumped 5%.  Index heavyweight Sony was up 1.7% while Panasonic gained 1.9%.

Funeral services provider Fu Shou Yuan International Group and Kerry Logistics both debuted in Hong Kong.

Real estate shares advanced initially on news the Hong Kong government would auction 12 new land sites early next year, but pared most of their gains. Sun Hung Kai Properties ended down 0.7% while Cheung Kong (Holdings) fell 1.2%.

In Mumbai, ICICI Bank and L&T led losses, down 3% each, followed by HDFC, down 2.8%, and ONGC, down 2.6%.

HDFC Bank was down 2.2% while Tata Power and SBI fell 2.1% and 2% each, respectively.

Indian finance minister P Chidambaram said the country is better prepared to deal with the consequences of mild tapering than earlier this year. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are the key drivers for Indian equities.

Software exporters were up on a weakened rupee.

Index leader BHP Billiton gained 2.8% in Sydney while Fortescue Metals and OZ Minerals were up 2.7% and 5.2% each, respectively.

Rouhan Sharma does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.