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Market Update

Asian Markets Trade Mixed

Asian markets were mixed Tuesday tracking overnight losses on Wall Street.

The Nikkei gained 0.7%. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% but the Hang Seng was down 0.5%. The Sensex slipped 0.1% while the All Ordinaries gave up 0.5%.

Australia’s central bank held its key interest rate at 2.5%, meeting expectations.

In economic data, retail sales in Australia rose more-than-expected last month. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said sales rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, from 0.9% in the preceding month. In a separate report, the Bureau said the country’s current account balance fell to a seasonally adjusted -12.7B, from -12.1B in the preceding quarter.

Stocks on the Move

Japanese stocks gained on the back of a weaker yen. Mazda Motor accelerated 2.1%, adding to the prior session’s 2.3% rise.

Fujifilm shot up 3.1%. Pioneer Corp. gained 2.7%.

The Hang Seng gave back most of its gains from Monday as real estate stocks retreated after Financial Secretary John Tsang Shun-wah said that risks of a property bubble means the government will continue on a line of measures to cool the sector.  China Resources Land gave up 1.6% while China Overseas Land & Investment was down 1.1%. Wharf Holdings fell 1.7%.

Casino stocks gained following government data that showed gambling revenue in Macau climbed 21.3% in November.

Gainers equaled losers in Mumbai with Jindal Steel up 3.8% on the Sensex. Hindalco and Gail India were both up about half a percent each while BHEL and Maruti Suzuki gained 1.5% and 1.3% each, respectively.

Banks were all lower after the rate decision in Sydney. CBA, WBC, ANZ, and NAB were all down in a range between 0.3% and 0.9%.

Index leader BHP Billiton sank 1.2%.