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Asian markets mostly positive, Chinese shares fall

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Asian shares were mostly positive on Wednesday as investors await Donald Trump's first full press conference as president-elect to give insight into the new administration's economic policies.

Down Under, the ASX 200 gained 0.19 percent or 10.79 points at 5,771.5, led strongly by its materials play.

Major Australian miners surged after base metal prices jumped overnight in London likely due to better-than-expected producer price inflation in China. Rio Tinto gained 3.89 percent, Fortescue Metals added 4.53 percent and BHP Billiton rose 2.6 percent after its chairman said he held positive talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday.

Organic baby food manufacturer Bellamy's dived 19.91 percent to A$5.35 per share after falling as much as 44 percent earlier, after the company said revenue will fall and its chief executive will leave effective immediately.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed up 0.33 percent or 63.23 points at 19,364.67.

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Toshiba shares jumped 4.33 percent to 301.1 yen each, after the Japanese conglomerate met creditors on Tuesday and asked them not to use provisions in debt agreements to call in their loans early so as to give the company time to work out a plan, Reuters reported.

Toshiba announced on Dec. 27 that it might book a goodwill charge of several billion dollars related to cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear plant construction business.

Across the Korean strait, the Kospi added 1.47 percent or 30 points at 2,075.17, led by electronics giant Samsung Electronics which had climbed 2.79 percent to 1,914,000 won ($1,600) each .

Mainland Chinese shares were lower, with the Shanghai composite closed 0.77 percent or 24.25 points at 3,137.42 and the Shenzhen composite slipped 1.05 percent or 20.86 points at 1,968.43.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 0.62 percent by afternoon trade.

Over at Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.16 percent to close at 19,855.53, while the S&P 500 closed unchanged. The Nasdaq composite finished up 0.36 percent at 5,551.82.

The dollar index was tracking 102.16 during Asian trade, compared to yesterday's levels as low as 101.8.

"The dollar is marking time before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's press conference on Wednesday," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX Strategy for BK Asset Management, in a note on Tuesday U.S. time.

"Trump will most likely repeat everything that he previously vowed to achieve while giving little details on specific policy actions. The question then becomes how the markets will react - will they be disappointed by the lack of specificity or encouraged by his pledge to spend," Lien said.

The Mexican peso was fetching 21.773 per dollar on Wednesday in Asian hours, after falling to a fresh record low overnight ahead of Trump's first press conference. The Mexican peso has plunged nearly 17 percent against the dollar since Trump's surprise victory.

Against the dollar, the yen was tracking 115.95 while Australian dollar continued to gain at $0.7378 at a near one-month high.

In the commodities market, U.S. crude futures were up 0.26 percent at $50.96, while global benchmark Brent added 0.22 percent to $53.76.

During Asian trade, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.64 percent to $5,782 a tonne, while three-month zinc was up 0.54 percent to $1,752.

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