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Asian markets trade mostly higher in early deals on Wednesday

Asian equity benchmarks are trading mostly in green in early deals on Wednesday, supported by better-than-expected manufacturing data from Japan. The gains came despite losses on Wall Street, where a six-day winning streak was snapped by a plunge in Walmart stock and losses in other sectors. Meanwhile, Hang Seng index rose, tracking gains in Asian markets. Though, the Japanese market edged lower, paring early gains, despite a weaker yen lifting exporters' shares. Among the other Asian markets, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are also higher. Bucking the trend, Indonesia is edging lower. China stock markets will reopen on Thursday after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Hang Seng added 279.76 points or 0.91% to 31,153.39, Straits Times gained 29.71 points or 0.85% to 3,506.24, Taiwan Weighted rose 270.45 points or 2.6% to 10,691.54, KOSPI Index spurt 6.69 points or 0.28% to 2,421.81, and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was up by 2.35 points or 0.13% to 1,858.34

On the flip side, Nikkei 225 dropped 25.25 points or 0.12% to 21,899.85, and Jakarta Composite was down by 15.02 points or 0.23% to 6,647.86.

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