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Asian Markets Meander

In commodity stocks, PetroChina (PTR) shares slipped 1.74%, to 14.70, while in Shanghai Aluminum Corp of China (ACH) bucked the trend, rising 1.37%, to 34.81 yuan.

Also in China, Beijing announced that inflation rose to 6.5% in October, from 6.2% a month earlier. The data increases the likelihood that Beijing may raise interest rates soon, with some saying that a hike could come this weekend.

In particular, rising food costs are putting pressure on other areas of consumer spending. Beijing is expected to lift rates by 27 basis points this year.

In Japanese trading, the yen continued to rise vs. the dollar, to as high as 110.03 by the end of Asian trading.

Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told local journalists that the yen is rising "too fast," and warned speculators in the currency to "be cautious" about possible intervention to stabilize the yen's rise.

Many currency strategists expect a deep decline in the yen soon, which may propel buying in the Hong Kong and Chinese equity markets as the carry trade comes back into favor with hedge funds, they say.

Japanese exporters were mixed, with Sony (SNE) up 0.95%, to 5,260 yen, and Nintendo (NTDOY) gaining 0.51%, to 59,100 yen. Canon (CAJ) fell back 1.28%, to 5,360 yen.

Nintendo has performed strongly this year, and is expected to start exporting the Wii to South Korea and China in January 2008.

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