Asia Flat Thursday, Except Red Hot China

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Japan (+0.01%) and Hong Kong (-0.05%) were flat Thursday, while China's Shanghai composite forged ahead by +2.06%.

Stocks in Japan fell in late trading, giving back early gains, as traders quickly took profits in a light-volume trading session. Banks, including Mitsubishi UFJ (MTU +2.2%) rose after they said they will not contribute to a U.S.-led subprime rescue fund. Chinese's stocks were lead by the resource sector; shares in coal companies jumped on news mainland utilities will have to pay more for thermal coal in the coming year. China Railway surged 9.5%, while new issue Sinoma, the number-one global cement engineering services provider, closed up 35% from its IPO price.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE:SNP) jumped 6.8%. NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM) was +1.7%. Toyota (NYSE:TM) lost 0.5%. Sony (NYSE:SNE) was down 1.1%. Hitachi (HIT) fell 2.3%. China Netcom Group Corp. (NYSEARCA:CN) lost 4.5%.

Breaking: China said Thursday is has once again raised interest rates, to a nine-year high of 7.47%. The hike is the sixth this year, as the government struggles to cool skyrocketing inflation in the world's fastest-growing major economy. The one-year lending goes to 7.47% from 7.29%, the People's Bank of China said on its Web site China Hikes for Sixth Time This Year; BoJ Holds.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg

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