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Market Update

Asian Shares Up Ahead of New Year

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Asian shares were higher Tuesday with markets set to close early on the last trading of 2013.

Japanese markets were closed. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.6% while the Hang Seng was up 0.3%. The Sensex edged up 0.2% while the All Ordinaries slipped 0.1%.

Data released after the close of trade Monday by China's National Audit Office showed debt and guarantees issued by local governments jumped 67% to 17.9 trillion yuan in the middle of 2013 compared with 10.7 trillion yuan at the end of 2010.

Investors are also focused on Chinese official manufacturing data due Wednesday.

Trading was thin across the region ahead of the New Year as markets enjoyed a shortened trading session.

Stocks on the Move

China COSCO fell 1.1% after rising initially on an announcement the company's subsidiary has signed an agreement to build four cargo ships for $108 million.

Building-materials maker BBMG strengthened 6.6% after the company said it estimated 2013 net profit to increase up to 15%. BBMG's mainland-listed shares were up 3.2%.

But Casablanca Group sank 0.8% after the company projected a significant decline in net profit for the year.

Tata Power charged up 2.9% and was the top gainer on the Sensex. RIL, Bajaj Auto, TCS, Tata Motors, Cipla, Hero MotoCorp, and Gail India were all up in a range between half a percent and a percent.

In Sydney, Alumina strengthened 2.3% after an overnight gain for aluminum prices.

Index leader BHP Billiton slipped 0.1% while Rio Tinto was up 0.3%.

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