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Market Update

Asian Markets End Lower

Asian markets ended lower Monday following weak data from China.

The Nikkei was down 2.3% on its first trading day of the new year. The Shanghai Composite fell 1.8% while the Hang Seng was down 0.6%. The Sensex slipped 0.3% and the All Ordinaries gave up half a percent.

Released earlier today, HSBC’s PMI for China was down to 50.9 from an earlier reading of 52.5.

Stocks on the Move

Japanese stocks were down on a stronger yen with exporters among the major losers.

Index heavyweight Sony was down 1.3% while Toyota was 1.9% lower. However, Nissan accelerated 1.6% after the company reported an over 10% increase in December U.S. sales.

Toshiba Corp. was also about a percent higher on a Nikkei newspaper report the company along with South Korea’s Hynix would beat U.S. rival Micron in the production of next-generation memory chips expected in 2016.

Hitachi Construction Machinery dropped 2.8% while Komatsu was 2.2% lower.

In Hong Kong, Kingsoft Corp. gained 4.4% following last week’s announcement it had struck a licensing agreement to grant Tencent the right to use an office software it had developed. Tencent was up 0.5%.

Financials were among the big losers with Bank of Communications down 2.1% and ICBC down 2.2%. AgBank fell 2.5%.

Jiangxi Copper melted 1.2% while its mainland-listed shares were down 3.6%. Also on the mainland, Aluminum Corp. of China was down 3%.

In India, Tata Power was the top loser, down 2.6%, followed by ICICI Bank, down 2.5%. SBI was down 1.7% while Hero MotoCorp, Infosys and RIL all fell about a 1% to 1.5% each.

Banks weighed on the index in Sydney with Westpac Banking down 0.7% while NAB fell about half a percent. ANZ eased 0.4% too.

Karoon Gas Australia lost over 5% after a drop in crude-oil futures. Santos was down 1.8%.