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Market Update

Asian Markets Up; Track Wall Street Gains

Asian markets were up Friday tracking gains on Wall Street overnight following an upbeat U.S. monthly employment report.

The Nikkei was up 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite bucked the trend as it traded 0.2% lower while the Hang Seng edged up 0.2%. The Sensex edged up 0.1% and the All Ordinaries rose 0.7%.

Earlier, HSBC said it's Hong Kong Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.1 in June, up from an 11-month low of 49.1 in May.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones ended over 17,000 points for the first time after stronger-than-expected jobs data that showed the U.S. economy continued to recover, and the unemployment rate dipped to 6.1%, its lowest level since September 2003.

Stocks on the Move

A weak yen lifted shares of exporters in Tokyo as the Nikkei touched its highest level since January this year.

Index heavyweight Sony was up 1.5% while Olympus added 2.1%. Hitachi gained 3.1%.

Seven & i rose 1.8% to a six-month high on strong earnings and as it also reiterated its forecast for a record full-year profit.

Dai-ichi Life Insurance fell 1.5% on a planned new share issuance of up to 275.9 billion yen to help fund its planned acquisition of U.S. peer Protective Life.

Chinese markets suffered from some profit-taking after strong recent gains.

Retailers were weak in Hong Kong after data late Thursday showed May sales fell marking four straight months of decline. Luk Fook Holdings (International) fell 1.7% while Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group declined 0.3%. Larry Lewelry International dropped 6.8% while Wharf Holdings, a developer and owner of shopping malls fell 1.1%.

However, property stocks were among the gainers on loosening policy in some cities. China Resources Land advanced 3.4% while over on the mainland, Poly Real Estate Group added 1.6%.

Dr. Reddy’s Lab was up 1.5% in Mumbai and was the top Sensex gainer, followed by HDFC Bank, up 0.9%. Tata Power and Airtel both added 0.8% each after Airtel pared opening gains of as much as 2.3% after the Reserve Bank of India increased the limit of investments by FIIs and registered foreign portfolio investors in the telecom operator.

Aussie stocks extended gains from the previous session following strong home building approvals data yesterday.

Materials were stronger as well as financials.

Index leader BHP Billiton was up a percent while Rio Tinto was up 0.6%.

Fortescue Metals added 1.6% while OZ Minerals and Atlas Iron strengthened 3.2% and 3.8% each, respectively.