Asian Markets Hit after Investors Book Profits

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By m rochan | December 11, 2013 7:54 PM EST

Asian markets trade lower on 11 December (Reuters).

Asian markets took a beating on 11 December after investors took profits, amid the interest rate liberalisation pressure that weighed down on Chinese banking stocks.

News that US politicians had reached a provisional two-year deal to prevent another federal shutdown failed to boost regional sentiment.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 1.71%, or 405.95 points, lower at 23,338.24.

The Shanghai Composite finished 1.49%, or 33.33 points, lower at 2,204.17.

South Korea's Kospi finished 0.78%, or 15.48 points, lower at 1,977.97.

Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.77%, or 39.40 points, lower at 5,104.20.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 0.62%, or 96.25 points, lower at 15,515.06.

India's BSE Sensex was trading 0.45%, or 95.43 points, lower at 21,159.83.

In the US, a cross-party Congressional budget committee agreed to fund government services for another two years. The proposed deal would finance the government, which is expected to run out of funds on 15 January, and would reduce the federal deficit by $23bn (£14bn, €17bn).

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan and his Senate counterpart, Patty Murray negotiated the deal in the wake of another government shutdown over federal spending.

The deal could now prompt the US Federal Reserve to trim its $85bn-a-month bond buying stimulus as early as next week. The central bank will announce its monetary policy decision on 18 December.

"We have broken through the partisanship and gridlock," Murray said at a news conference in Washington.

"This agreement makes sure that we don't have a government shutdown scenario in January. It makes sure we don't have another government shutdown scenario in October. It makes sure that we don't lurch from crisis to crisis," Republican Congressman Ryan said.

"This looks like a deal that, at the margin, adds to the probability that the Fed will feel confident in starting the QE tapering process next week, assuming that the House is going to get this passed this week and the Senate next week," Ray Attrill, the global co-head of currency strategy at National Australia Bank in Sydney told Bloomberg. "In itself, I would say it's dollar-positive," Attrill added.

In China, the big four state-owned banks and a former state policy bank decided to issue 19bn yuan ($3.13bn) of negotiable certificates of deposit, the official Shanghai Clearing House said on 11 December. The action is another measure in Beijing's move toward liberalised interest rates.

Earlier, data from India showed that the nation's November exports rose 5.86% on an annual basis, while imports fell 16.37%. The country's November trade deficit was $9.22bn as against $10.56bn in the preceding month.

Wall Street Down

On Wall Street, indices ended lower on 10 December amid Fed QE jitters and as market players tracked budget negotiations in Washington.

The Dow finished 52 points or 0.3% lower at 15,973.13.

The S&P 500 ended 5.75 points or 0.3% lower at 1,802.62.

The Nasdaq closed 8.26 points or 0.2% at 4,060.49.

Company Stock Movements

In Tokyo, Social gaming site Gree soared 20% on 11 December, extending the previous session's 10% rally, after market players turned more bullish on the stock.

In Shanghai, automaker Jiangling Motors lost 3% even after China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) data showed that vehicle sales rose 14.1% on an annual basis in November.

In Sydney, the nation's third-largest copper miner OZ Minerals finished 14.2% lower at $2.65 on the back of a disappointing production update.

The miner said it has been unable to increase gold and coppers resources at its ageing and only operating mine in South Australia, despite previous expectations that intensive prospecting would extend the mine's life.

OZ may have to acquire new mines to boost production.

Department store operator Myer lost 4% after Australian consumer confidence took a beating. The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell from 110.3 points in November to 105.0 in December.

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