Asian stocks closed mixed Tuesday as markets pared back gains ahead of a raft of economic indicators due out this week. Investors are wary over the prospect of a serious global economic slowdown.
Many investors, still shaken by the recent wave of bad news out of credit markets, including the fall of investment bank Bear Stearns, were unwilling to plough cash into the market just yet. Underlining investor nerves, UBS wrote down an additional $19 billion in assetsfor the first quarter, causing a net loss of 12 billion Swiss francs (US$12.03 billion) for the period, and said it would seek 15 billion francs in new capital through a rights issue
Commodities such as oil steadied after plunging on Monday, while the U.S. dollar was largely unchanged against major currencies such as the euro.
TheBank of Japan's tankan survey showed business sentiment worsening more than expected in the past three months. The tankan, meaning short-term economic outlook, also showed big firms expect their capital spending to fall 1.6 percent in the financial year that started on April 1, below the market's median forecast for a flat reading.