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Asian stocks mixed; central banks in focus. Nissan plunges 10%

Tuesday, 5 Nov 2013 | 2:40 AM ET

Asian equity markets closed out Tuesday mixed in choppy trade as investors focused on global central bank meetings and awaited key U.S. economic data.

Japan's Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite posted modest gains while Australia's S&P ASX 200 outperformed by nearly 1 percent. Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi fell to a near four-week low and Indian shares skidded 1 percent.

"Our risk barometer is currently around its lowest since February 2011, signifying still strong appetite for risky assets. Overall, there will be little to dent the positive risk bias but caution will intensify ahead of the ECB Council meeting and U.S. employment report towards the end of the week," said Mitul Kotecha, global head of FX strategy at Crédit Agricole in a note.


  Name Price   Change %Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
---
SHANGHAI
---
KOSPI
---
CNBC 100
---

Central banks watched

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left its cash rate unchanged at 2.5 percent, a record low, at its October policy meeting. Attention now turns to the European Central Bank (ECB)'s monetary policy review on Thursday.

In the U.S., St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Monday that the central bank's current $85-billion-a-month in bond purchases is a "torrid pace," adding "it's a very reasonable thing to do to substitute for the fact that you can't lower interest rates any further."

A raft of U.S. data is expected later this week, including third-quarter gross domestic product data on Thursday and the closely-watched October jobs report on Friday.

Nikkei up 0.2%

Nissan shares hit by gloomy guidance
Nissan Motor shares plunged 9 percent in early trade Tuesday after cutting its profit forecast. Tokyo bureau chief Kaori Enjoji reports.

Japan's benchmark index bounced between gains and losses in a choppy session as it resumed trade after Monday's public holiday. Sentiment has been weaker following the latest raft of earnings reports.

Nissan Motors tumbled 10.4 percent after cutting its full-year profit forecast on Friday due to costly recalls and is scheduled to report quarterly earnings after Tuesday's market close.

Mobile carrier SoftBank rose over 2 percent , extending Friday's gains of 3.4 percent after reporting a record six-month profit. Farm equipment maker Kubota rallied 8 percent after increasing its six-month earnings forecast by 28 percent.

Meanwhile, dollar-yen fell to 98.50 after hitting a session high of 98.67, which also underpinned stock market losses.

Shanghai adds 0.3%

China's benchmark index rebounded from a one-week low hit earlier in the session as investors digested remarks from Premier Li Keqiang in a speech published on Monday.

He said that more stimulus will be difficult due to rising inflation risks but stressed the importance of reform. He also said China needs 7.2 percent economic growth to generate 10 million jobs, below the government's official 7.5 percent target.

(Watch now: Wishlist of reforms expected at China's plenum)

Financial stocks were the worst performers; Industrial Bank led losses by 2 percent while Beijing Bank and Haitong Securities fell over 1 percent each.

Sydney rises 0.8%

Is there any scope for RBA to ease further?
Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist at AMP Capital Investors discusses the RBA's decision to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 percent.

Australia's share market was little changed after the RBA kept rates unchanged but the Australian dollar fell 0.3 percent to below 95 U.S. cents following the decision.

The central bank said the currency still remains "uncomfortably high" and said a lower Aussie is need for balanced economic growth. It also said uncertainty still surrounds the non-mining sectors of the economy.

"They're trying to step up the pace of jawboning the Aussie but by the same token, they don't want to have to cut interest rates again so it's a fine line between a booming housing sector and getting the rest of the economy stronger. And to do the latter, you need to get the Aussie down," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital Investors.

Banks lent support with National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia higher by 1 percent each after posting record profits earlier this month.

(Read more: Record profits for Aussie banks, but can it last?)

Kospi slips 0.6%

Seoul shares declined to its lowest level since October 10 due to selling by foreign investors in large-cap stocks. Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor slid 1 and 1.4 percent, respectively.

KT Corp eased 3.5 percent, extending the previous day's losses after the second- largest mobile operator's CEO submitted his resignation after prosecutors raided the company's headquarters and his home.

Meanwhile, the won hovered around 1,060 per dollar after the nation's foreign reserves climbed to a record high in October, according to central bank data.

India falls 1.25%

The benchmark Sensex index traded around 20,970 after hitting a new all-time record high of 21,239 on Sunday in a special trading session. The market was shut on Monday.

By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC

  Price   Change %Change
NIKKEI
---
ASX 200
---
JPY/USD
---
7201.T
---
7974.T
---
6753.T
---
AUD/USD
---
KOSPI
---
6758.T
---
USD/KRW
---
CBA
---
7731.T
---
593
---
SHANGHAI
---
9984.T
---
549
---
3020
---

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