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Market Update

Asian Markets Mostly Higher; Nikkei Bucks Trend

Asian markets were mostly higher Thursday even as the markets pared some gains after data showed Chinese consumer inflation rose slightly more than expected in January.

The Nikkei fell 1.4%. The Shanghai Composite was up half a percent while the Hang Seng was up 0.4%. The Sensex slipped 0.1% while the All Ordinaries traded 0.7% higher.

Consumer inflation in China remained unchanged at 2.5% in January from the previous month, slightly more than expectations for a 2.3% fall. However, producer prices fell 1.6%, on-year.

Stocks on the Move

Mazda Motor reversed 4.3%. Toyota was down 1.3% while Honda was 1% lower. Nissan bucked the trend among auto stocks and was up 1.1%.

Sony fell 2.7% while Panasonic was down 3.7%. Olympus dropped 4.8% and Sharp was down 2.3%. NEC Corp. gave up 3%.

China Vanke retreated 1.8% in Shanghai after the company’s Chairman Wang Shi warned of serious risks facing the domestic property market this year, according to the state-run China Securities Journal.

Other real estate stocks also retreated in Hong Kong.

Tencent Holdings was up 1.4%, extending prior gains.

Cipla extended losses, down 1.1% after falling almost 8% yesterday after announcing results. Coal India was down half a percent, also extending losses of over 3% after it reported its third straight quarterly decline in net profit.

Other top losers were BHEL, down 2.5%, followed by Hindalco, down 1.7%, and Bajaj Auto, down 1.5%.

India is also due to release wholesale price inflation numbers later in the day. Investors will focus on the Finance Minister who will present the interim budget next week Monday ahead of elections in May.

Rio Tinto moves higher initially in Sydney but was down 0.2% on profit-booking at the time of writing. The company’s results yesterday showed it swung to an annual profit.

Gold miner Newcrest was down 1.6% after it said first-half net profit fell due to a drop in the price of the yellow metal.