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Market Update

Asian Markets End Mixed

Asian shares were mixed Thursday as investors digested some economic reports from the region.

The Nikkei fell 1.5%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.8% while the Hang Seng fell 0.9%. The Sensex also slipped 0.1% but the All Ordinaries managed to eke out a gain of 0.2% in the final hours of trading.

Market focus was on a couple of key economic reports in the region.

Chinese government data showed the consumer price index rose 2.5% from a year earlier, less than expected, slowing from a 3% gain in November. The producer price index fell 1.4% in an annual basis.

In Japan, the Bank of Japan's quarterly survey showed consumer sentiment was worse than expected in December in comparison to three months ago.

In Australia, official data showed retail sales rose more-than-expected last month to a seasonally adjusted 0.7% from 0.5% in November.

Stocks on the Move

The yen was slightly firmer from the previous session and some exporters traded lower in response. Fanuc dropped 3% while Bridgestone Corp. was 1.4% lower. Fujitsu was down about 1.5%.

Fast Retailing traded 3.8% lower ahead of results.

Index heavyweight Sony gained 3.8%. The Nikkei Asian review reported the company was planning a "smartphone offensive" in China and the U.S.

Nintendo lost 2.7% following an 11% gain Wednesday on news China would lift a ban on some sales of videogame consoles.

Canon was down 2% on a news report that its 2013 operating profit would miss estimates.

Toshiba shares were up 3.3% after American lifestyle audio brand Skullcandy said Toshiba could license its name for use in marketing notebooks.

China Telecom was down 1.9% while China Unicom fell 1.6% after both the telecom companies cut their contract prices for Apple’s iPhone5 by more than 15% before next week’s launch of the device by China Mobile.

China Mobile shares were down 1.4%.

Footwear retailer Belle International fell 4.2%.

L&T was the top loser on the Sensex, down 2.7%. Axis Bank and Hindalco Ind. were down over 2% each. Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Wipro and Bharti Airtel were down in a range between 1% and 2%.

Retailers were up in Sydney after the upbeat data with David Jones gaining over a percent while Woolworths was up 1%. Myer Holdings reversed losses after the data and was up 0.4%.

Qantas Airways was down 3.6% after a Moody's downgrade of its credit rating, but came off earlier lows to end up 1.8%.