Tokyo, Seoul Close Weaker; Hong Kong and Singapore Rally

Markets in Asia finished mixed with Tokyo and Seoul closing lower but Hong Kong and Singapore rallying.

The Nikkei 225 ended the day down as gains in technology stocks were not able to offset losses in energy shares after oil prices fell below $63 a barrel. South Korea's Kospi Index also finished lower as fears of the strengthening won pulled down the market.

Australian shares closed marginally higher. John Fairfax, which is seen as a takeover target when Australia's new media ownership laws take effect next year, rose after Seven Network
confirmed it bought a stake without giving further details.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed sharply higher, tracking gains in the U.S. with blue chips boosting the market. Singapore's Straits Times Index hit a new record high, rallying on positive local news. The market is being boosted by banks such as DBS Group Holdings, as investors bet that lenders would benefit from financing the construction of two planned casinos.

Elsewhere Indonesian stocks jumped 2% and also hit an all-time high. Shares in Malaysian and the Philippine are also higher. The Thai market is closed Tuesday for the King's birthday.


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