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Market Update

Nikkei Leads Losses In Asia

Asian markets opened on a weaker note Monday, with Tokyo's Nikkei falling to its lowest intra-day level in two and a half months, amid ongoing concerns over growth in emerging markets.

The Nikkei was trading down 1.5% at 1:16 p.m. after sliding to its lowest level since November 13th.

The Sensex lost 0.5% in opening trades while the All Ordinaries erased 0.1%.

Chinese markets remained closed for public holidays.

Investors were trading cautiously after Wall Street and European equities logged losses Friday amid lingering concerns over recent rout in emerging market assets.

Risk appetite being low, investors preferred the relative safety of bonds and currencies like the yen, which further pressurised stocks in Tokyo.

In Sydney, meanwhile, some economic reports were in focus. According to a survey report, Australia's manufacturing index declined to 46.7 in January from 47.6 in December.

New building approvals issued by the government also turned lower by 2.9% in December.

Over the weekend, the Chinese government issue its official reading on the country's manufacturing activity. According to the report, China's official purchasing managers' index fell to 50.5 in January as compared with 51 in December. The reading came in line with expectations.

Stocks on the Move

Stocks in Tokyo were under pressure on account of a stronger yen.

Sony Corp. lost 2.8%, Sharp Corp. declined 1.1% while Panasonic Corp. moved down 2.1%.

Among auto firms, Mazda Motor decelerated 3.4% while Honda Motor reversed 1.3%.

Softbank Corp. plunged over 5%, extending its losing streak for the ninth day while NTT DoCoMo was trading over 3% lower.

On the earnings front, cosmetic manufacturer Shiseido  Co. gained 3.4% after the company raised its net profit outlook for the current fiscal year by 27%.

Astellas Pharma edged up 0.3% ahead of results announcement while Mitsubishi Electric Corp. tacked on a percent after posting latest results.

In Sydney miners were trading weak after lacklustre data. Index leader BHP Billiton and fellow miner Rio Tinto lost around half a percent each.

Energy plays, however, did a balancing act. Santos added over a percent while Woodside Petroleum inched up 0.5% offsetting some of the losses on the resource-heavy benchmark index.

Mumbai stocks opened in the red, tracking weak sentiment overseas. Top losers on the 30-share benchmark index included metal players, banks and IT players.

Hindalco Industries erased around 2.5%, ICICI Bank gave up 1.5% while Infosys, TCS and Wipro lost around 0.5% each.