Asian markets outside India trade lower on 7 November
Asian markets outside India trade lower on 7 November (Reuters).

Asian markets traded lower on 7 November as investors refrained from making large bets ahead of major events later in the week.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 0.76% lower or 108.87 points at 14,228.44.

Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.22% lower or 11.80 points at 5,422.00.

South Korea's Kospi finished 0.48% lower or 9.63 points at 2,004.04.

The Shanghai Composite finished 0.48% lower or 10.21 points at 2,129.40.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 0.69% lower or 160.05 points to 22,876.89.

India's BSE Sensex was trading 0.86% higher or 180.00 points to 21,074.94.

Market players in Asia await US third-quarter growth data, due on 7 November, and the October US nonfarm payrolls data, due on 8 November.

Together, the two sets of data will throw more light on the health of the world's largest economy and can influence the US Federal Reserve's 18 December monetary policy decision.

The Fed's $85bn (£53bn, €63bn) bond-buying stimulus programme has supported the US economy and stock markets the world over for a while now.

BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research said in a note to clients: "The severe US fiscal contraction is largely over. This is likely to lend a positive impetus to growth in early 2014.

"Spending will be boosted by higher healthcare outlays, and revenues are no longer driven by changes in the tax law."

"A pro-growth risk-on trade is possible in the New Year, but the impact on Treasury yields is likely to be moderate", BofA added.

Market participants will also be tracking a key meeting of senior Communist Party officials in Beijing on 9-12 November, where China's new leaders are expected to detail the nation's economic agenda for the next decade.

Historically, such meetings, known as plenums, have served as a launch pad for economic change in the world's second largest economy.

Yonghao Pu, Asia-Pacific chief investment officer at UBS, said in a note to clients: "The government has already initiated reforms in such areas as the financial system, taxation (replacing the business tax with value-added tax), government administration (streamlining certain approval rights), state-owned enterprises and monopolies (overhauling the railway system), and resource pricing (allowing market forces to set prices).

"In contrast, the government may need more time to build consensus and more carefully plan details of the more contentious reform areas such as fiscal management, taxation (including the property tax), land use, the household registration or 'hukou' system, and the one-child policy," Yonghao said.

"For markets, the question is no longer whether or not the government will carry out reform, but how fast and to what extent it will do so," Yonghao added.

Meanwhile, in Australia, data showed that the nation created a meagre 1,100 jobs in October, way below expectations of 10,000 job additions. The news weighed on the benchmark index and the Australian dollar, which shed 0.4% against the US dollar.

Wall Street Mixed

On Wall Street, most indices ended higher on 6 November, with the Dow striking a record high at the end of the day's trade on hopes that the Fed could extend its asset buys longer than originally planned.

The Dow finished 128.66 points higher or 0.8% at 15,746.88.

The S&P 500 closed 7.52 points higher or 0.4% at 1,770.49, just 2 points below its record close.

However, the Nasdaqended 7.92 points lower or 0.2% at 3,931.95.

Company Stock Movements

In Tokyo, Toyota Motor shed 0.9% even after it reported a higher net profit, 438.43bn yen ($4.45bn), for the three months to September, as against 257.92bn yen a year ago. The automaker's net profit was slightly below expectations.

Rival Honda Motor lost 1% on the news while Nissan Motor shed 0.5%.

Japan Aviation Electronics soared 15% after the firm revised its full-year outlook.

Real estate firm Sumitomo Realty and Development inched up 0.8% after it reported a 21% annual increase in half-yearly operating profit, partly supported by strong sales of condominiums.

In Shanghai, oil major Sinopec gained 1% on news that state-owned parent China Petrochemical proposes to spend up to HK$136bn to buyback a 2% stake in the subsidiary over the next 12 months.

Agriculture Bank of China and rival Bank of China moved up 0.4% on a China Securities Journal report that the mainland's top banks disbursed $29.8bn in loans in October, the lowest disbursal level so far this year.

In Mumbai, Bharat Heavy Electricals, the country's biggest power-equipment maker, dropped 4.5% after it reported a worse-than-expected 64% drop in quarterly earnings.

In Sydney, mining services provider Ausdrill's shares crashed 29% after the company revealed that it expected its full-year profit, in the year to June, to drop by some 61% owing to lower spending by the mining industry.

Australia and New Zealand Banking dropped 4% while National Australia Bank lost 3.8% as both stocks traded without dividend rights.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 1.2% after JPMorgan raised its rating on the lender to overweight.

In Seoul, index heavyweight Samsung Electronics lost over 1%, extending the previous day's 2.29% drop following the company's analyst briefing on 6 November.

Samsung stated its ambition to overthrow technology giant Apple in the tablets market at an analyst briefing in Seoul, convened to boost its wilting stock price.

Kia Motors and part-owner Hyundai Motor gained about 1% each on expectations that a moderate leader would head Hyundai's labour union.