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ASIA-PACIFIC MID-SESSION UPDATE - 10/12/13: Asian markets traded mixed as participants remain cautious and ask "will they or won't they?"

Asian equity markets trade mixed as participants remain cautious amid uncertainty whether the Fed will decide to taper its monthly asset purchases at next week’s FOMC meeting. The ASX 200 has outperformed its major regional counterparts, with miners dominating the list of best performers. Medusa Mining shares have seen the biggest gains, which follows advances in gold prices as it rose from a 5-month low in New York. Conversely, QBE shares are the most pressured and have continued on from yesterday’s decline to shed a near 30% since it signalled a net loss for the year. The Nikkei 225 traded negative weighed by losses in its heaviest weighted component Fast Retailing. On the other hand, Yahoo Japan is the best performer in the index for the 2nd straight session, after reports that Alibaba and KGI are in talks to set up a China brokerage venture, while there were also reports that Yahoo PT was raised at RBC Capital, which cited the value of the Co.'s stake in Alibaba has risen to USD 36bln vs. previously seen as USD 26.4bln. Elsewhere, Chinese markets trade indecisive after the PBOC refrained from conducting open market operations, while China also began the Central Economic Work Conference to set economic and reform agenda for 2014, which is where it sets its GDP, CPI and M2 targets.

In the fx market, USD weakness is prevalent across the board, which was largely driven by strength in EUR/USD which broke barriers through 1.3750 to the upside. The strength in EUR also supported EUR/JPY which climbed to October 2008 highs, while USD weakness translated to advances in GBP/USD which touched the highest level since August 2011 at 1.6466. Elsewhere, the PBOC set the CNY at it strongest fix against USD for the 2nd consecutive session which suggests China’s central bank are to limit its intervention to suppress the value of CNY.

Looking forward, Chinese Industrial Production and Retail Sales are scheduled for 0530GMT/2330CST.

As of 0306GMT:
ASX200 (+0.43%), Nikkei 225 (-0.36%), Shanghai Comp. (+0.01%), Hang Seng (-0.14%) KOSPI (-0.38%)

Print 03:11, 10 Dec 2013 - Asian News - Source: RANsquawk