Asian Markets Outside Australia Gain on Upbeat China and US Data

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By m rochan | December 9, 2013 7:42 PM EST

A man walks past a stock quotation board displaying various Asian indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo on 27 November, 2013 (Reuters).

Asian markets outside Australia traded higher, with the Japanese Nikkei leading the pack, on the back of upbeat economic data from the world's two largest economies.

In Australia, a profit warning from the nation's largest insurer, QBE Insurance Group, pulled down stocks in Sydney.  

The Japanese Nikkei finished 2.29%, or 350.35 points, higher at 15,650.21.

South Korea's Kospi finished 1.01%, or 19.97 points, higher at 2,000.38.

The Shanghai Composite finished 0.05%, or 1.09 points, higher at 2,238.20.

Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.80%, or 41.60 points, lower at 5,144.40.

India's BSE Sensex was trading 1.63%, or 342.31 points, higher at 21,338.84.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 0.18%, or 43.30 points, higher at 23,786.40.

In China, government data showed that consumer price inflation slowed down in November, in contrast to analysts' expectations, suggesting that the nation's economic recovery is gaining momentum.

China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said consumer prices rose 3.0% year-on-year in November, compared to analysts' expectations of a 3.2% increase. In October, CPI inflation stood at 3.2%.

The yearly decline was primarily because of a drop in food prices, according to the NBS. Food inflation declined to 5.9% in November from 6.5% in October.

Earlier, data from the US showed that the number of out of work Americans dropped to its level in five years in October, after some federal workers, who were counted as jobless in October, returned to work following the 16-day partial shutdown of the government.

The US Labor Department revealed that the nation's jobless rate fell to 7% after nonfarm payrolls increased by 203,000 new jobs in October.

The results smashed expectations after analysts forecast payrolls rising 180,000 last month and the unemployment rate falling to 7.2% from 7.3%.

In Thailand, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved parliament and called for fresh elections followng relentless anti-government protests across the southeast Asian nation. However, anti-government protesters plan marches to press for establishing an unelected "People's Council" to run the interim the government.

Meanwhile, in India, the benchmark BSE Sensex struck a record high on 9 December and the rupee hit a four-month high after the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), perceived to be more business friendly, swept three out of four key state elections.

Nomura said in a note to clients: "The BJP is considered more right-of-center, pro-business and reform-oriented. The fact that runaway spending by the ruling party has not won any votes could be taken as a very positive signal by the markets in terms of voter preference for the kind of policy favoured by the electorate".

Asian stock markets outside Shanghai and Mumbai finished the week ended 7 December lower. India's BSE Sensex led the pack and South Korea's Kospi trailed.

Wall Street Up

On Wall Street, indices ended higher on 6 December following upbeat US jobs data.

The Dow finished 198.69 points higher or 1.3% at 16,020.20.

The S&P 500 ended 20.06 points higher or 1.12% at 1,805.09.

The Nasdaq closed 29.36 points or 0.7% at 4,062.52.

For the week ended 7 December, the Dow finished 0.4% lower, the S&P500 ended 0.04% lower and the Nasdaq closed 0.06% higher.

Company Stock Movements

In Tokyo, Yahoo Japan shot up over 6%.

Exporters' stock gained on a weaker Japanese yen. Automaker Mazda Motor added 3%. Telecoms major Softbank, industrial robots maker Fanuc and Fast Retailing gained 2% each.

In Hong Kong, Asia-focused bank HSBC witnessed flat trade following reports that it was considering a flotation of its UK unit.

In Mumbai, ICICI Bank shot up 5% while construction major Larsen & Toubro jumped 4.1%.

In Sydney, QBE Insurance plunged 22% after the firm warned it would post a net loss owing to write-downs at its US operation.

Education trading provider Vocation gained 10% at its trading debut on the Australian Securities Exchange, after raising $230m through an IPO.

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