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Market Update

Asian Markets Mostly Lower

Asian markets were mostly lower Wednesday.

The Nikkei was up 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% while the Hang Seng declined 0.3%. The Sensex gave up 0.6% while the All Ordinaries was down 0.3%.

U.S. stocks ended flat Tuesday.

Data from Australia showed consumer confidence rose a little in June as shown by the Westpac Bank/Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment which was up 0.2% from May.

In other news around the region, Japan’s $1.26 trillion public pension fund is likely to announce a stepping up in stock and foreign-bond investments, according to the head of the fund’s investment committee.

On Tuesday, the World Bank trimmed its global growth forecast, saying the world economy would grow 2.8% this year. The bank also lowered marginally its forecast for economic growth in China this year to 7.6% from its January projection of 7.7%.

Stocks on the Move

Seven & i Holdings was up 0.9% as the Nikkei reported the company’s quarterly operating profit likely rose 5% for a second straight record.

Toshiba was up 1.8% while Hitachi and Olympus were up 1.7% each, respectively.

In Hong Kong, China Mobile was down 2.1%. The company yesterday said it was buying an 18% stake in Thai peer True Corp. for $882 million.

Casino operators rebounded after a sell-off yesterday. Wynn Macau was up 1.9% while Galaxy Entertainment recouped 3%.

Leading losses on the Sensex, Tata Power plunged 5.1%, followed by Hindalco, down 4.5%, SSLT, down 3.9%, and NTPC and BHEL, down 3.8% each, respectively. Coal India fell 3.4% while Tata Motors and ONGC were down 3% and 2.9% each, respectively.

In Sydney, Ramsay Health Care added 1.4% after it agreed along with its joint venture partner to buy a controlling stake in France’s General de Sante SA.