Asian Stocks Markets Mixed

Asian stock markets were mixed but mostly higher in light trading Wednesday, with Hong Kong moving north on financial issues, while Tokyo closed almost unchanged. Shanghai retreated modestly, but other regional issues were up with the exception of Seoul and Mumbai.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 traded flat, nominally off 0.01% in light trading as troubled conglomerate Toshiba (TOSBF, 6502:Tokyo), posted its second-straight double-digit down day, declining 20.4% after reporting it will post large losses on North American nuclear power-plant business. Toshiba has lost $5 billion of market capitalization in two days.

In other news, officials reported Japan’s factory output rose 1.5% in November and manufacturers expect to ramp up production by more than 2% in both December and January, reflecting a global recovery and a lower exchange rate for the Japanese yen. The U.S. dollar traded near 118 to the yen, up from 100 after midyear. ┬áThe benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.34 to 19,401.72, although gaining issues outnumbered losers 152 to 65.

By Caroline Williams