BSE Sensex
BSE SensexReuters

India’s Sensex is expected to fall on Wednesday as investors are likely to maintain caution ahead of the quarterly earnings reports to be announced this week by major corporates in the U.S. and India.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.15 percent, or 35.65 points, to 23345.86. Among major losers were Sands China Ltd (1.37 percent) and China Mobile Ltd (1.39 percent).

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was down 1.49 percent, or 161.81 points, to 10717.27. Among major losers were GS Yuasa Corp (4.46 percent), Nikon Corp (3.91 percent) and NTN Corp (3.69 percent).

South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index rose 0.35 percent, or 6.97 points, to 1990.71. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd marginally dropped 0.07 percent and shares of LG Electronics Inc were down 0.95 percent.

On Tuesday, the U.S. stocks were mixed with investors remaining watchful on the earnings to be reported later in the week. Investors will continue to focus on earnings reports with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) expected to announce their quarterly results on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, according to the data released on Tuesday by the Department of Commerce, retail sales report, a foremost indicator of consumer spending which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity, rose 0.5 percent in December from a 0.4 percent increase in November. Also according to the data released on Tuesday by the Department of Labor, the Producer Price Index, which measures the change in the price of goods sold by manufacturers, fell 0.2 percent in December after a 0.8 percent decrease in November.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.24 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.12 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.23 percent.

European markets were mixed on Tuesday as investor sentiment was weighed down by the report that Germany’s economy shrank in the fourth quarter of last year. According to data released on Tuesday by the Statistics Office, Germany’s gross domestic product contracted 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year to reduce the overall growth of 2012 to 0.7 percent down from 3 percent in 2011. London's FTSE 100 was up 9.45 points, Germany's DAX 30 index fell 53.61 points and France's CAC 40 declined 10.90 points.

On Tuesday, the Sensex gained 80.41 points to close at 19986.82. The overall market breadth was negative with 1126 advances against 1154 declines. The BSE's Midcap Index gained 0.27 percent to 7262.44 and Smallcap Index fell 0.06 percent to 7504.83.