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Market Update

Shanghai Up; Nikkei Down in Listless Asia


Most Asian markets opened higher Wednesday but moved off early highs by mid-session.

The Nikkei lost 0.6% at 1:41 p.m. Tokyo time as investors booked profits after yesterday's sharp gains.

Australia's All Ordinaries and the Hang Seng were flat at the time of writing -- moving off earlier gains.

Mainland China's Shanghai Composite added 0.6% at the time of writing , while Mumbai's Sensex was up 0.2% in early trades.

Sentiment was positive at open after Wall Street stocks ended mostly higher despite some disappointing economic data. Stocks, however, succumbed to selling pressure as investors moved to the sidelines.

Stocks on the Move

Most exporters in Tokyo were in the red as profit booking wiped out yesterday's rally. The dollar strengthened against the yen on heels of weak U.S. economic data yesterday, which added further pressure.

Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. lost more than 2.5% while Honda Motor Corp. was 1.8% lower.

A few others managed to move against the tide, however. Canon Inc. rose 2.3%, Konami Corp. rose 1.4% while Nintendo Co. was up 0.6%, extending yesterday's gains.

In Hong Kong, airline stocks and property developers found buying support. Sino Land Co. tacked on a percent and Sun Hung Kai Properties gained 0.8%.

Shanghai-listed Gemdale Corp. improved 2.1% while Poly Real Estate Group added 1.1%.

Among airliners, China Eastern Airlines flew 2.4% and China Southern Airlines climbed 0.7% amid reports new regulations relaxing the management and use of lower airspace will be announced as early as February-end.

Air China was up 0.4% after reports said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Honeywell Aerospace (HON)  to begin testing GX Aviation on the airline's A 330 aircraft.

In Sydney, Brambles Ltd. rose 2.6% after reporting higher first half profits, but Woodside Petroleum slipped 0.8% after its fiscal year profits declined.

Wesfarmers slipped over a percent despite posting strong results and announcing hefty dividends.

Among miners, Fortescue Metals Group, which also reported higher profits, declined 2.8%.

SunCorp. Group reported a decline in its half-year profit but hiked dividend payout. Shares of the insurer slid 2.7%, however.

In Mumbai, IT stocks were among the forerunners. Infosys rose 1.4% while Wipro and TCS climbed around 0.5% each.

Among others, defensive picks were favoured -- Sun Pharma was the topper, adding 1.5%, Bharti Airtel gained 0.9% while Dr. Reddys Lab inched up 0.8%.





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