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Asian Markets Slip on Lower Oil Prices, China Outlook

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Asian markets retreated on Wednesday as oil prices slumped ending enthusiasm attached to Tuesday's global rallies on stronger crude prices. China's President Xi Jinping again warned that structural reforms were needed and Japan and Shanghai traded flat while Hong Kong traded lower.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Wednesday gained a negligible 0.08%, after a morning rally faded in an afternoon session decline. Overnight gains on Wall Street boosted buying at the opening bell, but a rising yen undercut the afternoon trades.

Leading the upside were Sumitomo Heavy Industries (6302:Tokyo), up 13.38% on strong earnings; followed by non-ferrous metals producer Furukawa (FUWAF, 5715:Tokyo) up 7.45%; and then Oki Electric (OKIEY, 6703:Tokyo), up 7.10%. On the downside were diversified manufacturer Dowa Holdings (DWMNF,5714:Tokyo), off 7.68%; and then foods-purveyor Nicherei (NCHEY, 2871:Tokyo), off 5.67%.

After the bell, Toyota ( TM ) warned profits would be cut by the strong yen.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index retreated by 0.93%, as traders mulled softening oil prices after Tuesday's bullish crude performance, and again took caution at the uncertain China outlook. China President Xi Jinping said the Sino economy was "big but not strong" and sometimes characterized by "puffiness and weakness." But he also dismissed Western-style reforms, and said Chinese tourists were buying products offshore that could be made in China.

Leading the upside on a down day were Macau gaming house Galaxy Entertainment (27:HK), up 0.81%; followed by conglomerate China Merchants (144:HK), up 0.46%; and then old-line conglomerate Swire Pacific (19:HK), up 0.43%. On the downside were confectioners Want Want China (151:HK) off 3.84%; and then China Mengnui Dairy (2319:HK), off 2.83%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) rose 0.16% to 2,837.04.

On other exchanges, the Singapore Straits Times Index lost 0.30%; in Mumbai the Sensex is down 0.86% in late trading; the Thai Set lost 0.56%; the S. Korean Kospi lost 0.12%; and the Taiwan TWSE retreated 0.25%. In Australia, the resource-heavy S&P ASX/200 gained 0.55% as commodities improved.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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